Meta, formerly acclaimed as Facebook, announced on December 8 that it would ban all Myanmar military-linked businesses' existence. This decision was built on "extensive documentation by the International community and civil society of these businesses direct role in funding the Tatmadaw ongoing violence and human rights abuse in Myanmar," according to Rafael Frankel, Meta's Pacific Director of public policy for emerging countries, Asia Pacific. This action came one day after Rohingya refugees sued Facebook for $150 billion over Myanmar violence. The parent Company Facebook has a significant role in Myanmar as it is the dominant online platform that both protesters and soldiers widely used.
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Earlier in February, this US-based colossal tech already declared that it would restrict all the entities linked to the military, also known as Tatmadaw, from advertising on its platforms, followed by Myanmar's army seizure of power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi prompting widespread protests. A spokesperson for the military junta, which banned Facebook in February, did not answer calls seeking comment.
The Brutal Counterinsurgency campaign in Myanmar led by the army drove more than 700,000 people to look for safety across the border in Bangladesh. Since the takeover, the security forces have been lethal against non-violent protest in opposition to military rule.
The $150 billion cases were constructed over the allegations that the tech giant did not take action against the Anti-Rohingya gate speech that contributed to violence. The complaint was filed in California on Monday.
According to many activists, the military uses the online platform to spread disinformation and hate speech, which led Facebook to implement a specific policy for Myanmar to remove praise, support, and advocacy of particular policies for Myanmar security forces and protesters.
"The Act of banning postings linked to Myanmar's military appears more a form of desperation after being sued for $150 billion for being involved in Rohingya Genocide than any genuine concern for human rights," Burma Campaign UK's director, Mark Farmaner, was quoted as saying by Newsbreak.
Meanwhile, Frankel spurned to pass any judgement on the lawsuit but was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We're appalled by the crimes committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar. We've built a dedicated team of Burmese Speakers, banned the Tatmadaw, disrupted networks manipulating public debate and taken help keep people safe."