Maria Montero

Facebook removes hundreds of accounts, pages and groups linked to the military …

Facebook Inc has removed hundreds of additional accounts, pages and groups in Myanmar from its social media after discovering what it called “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and links to the country’s military.

The social media giant had previously deleted the accounts, including that of Myanmar’s army chief, following criticism for failing to act hatefully amid violence against Rohingya Muslims in the country.

Facebook said in one blog post By late Tuesday, it had deleted 425 pages, 17 groups and 135 accounts from its social network and 15 accounts from its photo-sharing service on Instagram.

It continued to investigate other pages that “mislead others about who they are or what they are doing” and could violate the company’s policy on misrepresentation, Facebook said.

A cell phone user looks at a Facebook page in a shop on Latha Street, Yangon, Myanmar, August 8, 2018. REUTERS / Ann Wang

The closed pages included “seemingly independent news, entertainment, beauty and lifestyle. The pages were linked to the Myanmar military” and other pages were removed in August, Facebook said.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay did not return a phone call seeking comment on Wednesday.

The removal of the pages linked to Myanmar in August followed a UN fact-finding mission calling for top Myanmar generals to be prosecuted for what it said was a campaign of mass killings and gang rapes against the Rohingya. carried out with “genocidal intent”.

In 2017, the military led an offensive in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents, which brought more than 730,000 Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh, according to UN agencies.

A Reuters report In August, Facebook was found to ignore numerous warnings from organizations in Myanmar about social media posts fueling attacks on minority groups such as the Rohingya.

The UN fact-finding mission singled out Facebook for its criticism for failing to address hate speech in Myanmar.

Facebook said in November that a human rights report it had commissioned showed that it had not done enough to prevent its social network from being used to incite violence in Myanmar.