Myanmar Blocks Facebook Amid Ongoing Coup

Myanmar’s military government has blocked Facebook and other social media platforms to allegedly “stabilize” the country.

Most Burmese citizens have used Facebook to share photos of civil disobedience campaigns and nightly pot-and-pan protests since the military took over and detained their president, Aung Suu Kyii.

“Telcom Law Article 77 is used to block #facebook. That’s very reason we campaigned against Telecom Law soo hard since 4 yrs ago to NLD-led Parliament to abolish those articles. But they didn’t. Now Military is using them to do exactly what we were worried they do,” said Burmese activist @thinzashunleiyi on Twitter. 

The Burmese Ministry of Communications and Information said access to Facebook would be blocked until 7 February.

“Currently the people who are troubling the country’s stability … are spreading fake news and misinformation and causing misunderstanding among people by using Facebook,” said the ministry.

NetBlocks said that Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp have been initially blocked by the state-owned Internet provider MPT then was followed by other providers.

There were reports of citizens circumventing the block by using a VPN service. 

Half of Myanmar’s 54 million people use Facebook and is one of the most used apps in the country. 

Facebook said that it is requesting the Burmese government to unblock them “so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information.”

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