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Facebook services to be blocked in the country for the sake of “stability”

Internet providers in Myanmar with state-owned telecom MPT were barring access to Facebook services in the country on Thursday days following military leaders grabbed control in a move. A letter published online by the Ministry of Communications and Information said Facebook would be barred until Feb 7 for “stability”.Some users in Myanmar were informed they were not able to obtain certain Facebook services.

Network monitoring group NetBlocks verified state-owned telecom MPT, which states it has 23 million users, had obstructed Facebook as well as its Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp services. Norway’s Telenor Asa said it had just blocked Facebook to follow the instruction. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declared the disruption.” We urge officials to revive connectivity so that people in Myanmar can interact with their families and friends and access important information,” he said. Half of Myanmar’s 53 million people manage Facebook, which for many is compatible with the Internet.

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

Telenor revealed “grave concern” about the order, which it said had been accepted by all mobile operators and Internet service providers on Wednesday. It said in a declaration it was pointing users to information saying Facebook websites cannot be contacted due to government order.” While the directive has a legal basis in Myanmar law, Telenor does not believe that the request is based on necessity and proportionality, by international human rights law,” it said.

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On Tuesday, the military cautioned against the publicizing of what it said reported on social media that could provoke rioting and create instability.UN human rights analysts have earlier said hate speech on Facebook had executed a key role in inciting violence in Myanmar. The company has stated it was too slow to act in countering misinformation and hatred in the nation. This week, Facebook stated that it was reviewing the situation in Myanmar as urgent and taking interim measures to guard against abuse such as eliminating content that glorifies or encourages the coup, according to a spokeswoman.


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