ISSN 2330-717X

Facebook Finally Pledges To Remove Burmese Military Companies – OpEd

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Burma Campaign UK today welcomed an announcement by Facebook that they will finally take down the Facebook Pages of military companies. Burma Campaign UK has been calling on Facebook to take this step for many years, as have many Burmese civil society organisations.

The Facebook announcement is available here: https://about.fb.com/news/2021/02/an-update-on-myanmar/

“For years Facebook resisted significant pressure to take down military companies pages because of their role in financing human right violations by the military, including genocide,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Facebook have known for years these military companies finance human rights violations. Now, within hours of legal cases being filed regarding their role in the genocide of the Rohingya, Facebook decide to take down military company pages.”

More than 53,000 people signed an online petition calling on Facebook to remove military companies. The petition is available here.

Facebook/Meta also feature on the Burma Campaign UK ‘Dirty List’ because of their role in hosting military companies and failure to act to prevent military propaganda and hate speech. The ‘Dirty List’ entry is available here.

Facebook is also refusing to co-operate with the legal team working on the genocide case at the International Court of Justice, even taking legal action to try to avoid releasing information it holds regarding how the military used Facebook to communicate, organise and incite support for the genocide of the Rohingya.

Burma Campaign UK has also reported Facebook to US authorities for breaching US sanctions by continuing to host pages for sanctioned military companies.

“By hosting military company pages Facebook helped the military make money which funded the international crimes they committed,” said Mark Farmaner. “The belated decision to remove military company pages appears more an act of desperation after being sued for $150bn for being involved in Rohingya genocide than any genuine concern for human rights.”

Facebook will remain on the Burma Campaign UK ‘Dirty List’ as long as it fails to take effective action to tackle hate speech and military propaganda, refuses to cooperate with international legal initiatives to ensure justice and accountability for the military, and does not implement the recommendations of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.

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