Myanmar: The revolution will be Facebook-lived

Armed with a smartphone and streaming via Facebook Live, Thar Lon Zaung Htet has been on the streets at anti-coup protests in Yangon capturing the demonstrations since the military seized power in Myanmar on February 1.

The army detained Democratic party leaders earlier this month, including the popular figure, Aung San Suu Kyi, after alleging fraud in the November election.

Founder of Khit Thit media, he is one of many fearless journalists in the country covering the protests day after day, despite the military turning the internet on and off and threats against media reporting on the coup.

"Although there are difficulties, citizen journalists and media outlets are posting online in every way possible in these situations. The main important thing is we need to show the world what's going on in Myanmar."

The coup has prompted the biggest street protests in more than a decade.

But one key difference between the last major uprising in 2007, known as the "Saffron Revolution," is the smart phone.

Although Facebook is banned by the junta, downloads of VPNs to skirt the block have surged.

These demonstrations are being constantly live streamed - not just by journalists but also by citizens on Facebook, which sees about half the country's 53 million people use the platform.

Over 700 people have been arrested in the past month, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Journalist Shwe Yee Win was taken away by police earlier this month.

She'd been reporting on the demonstrations in the western city of Pathein.

On Thursday (February 25), around 1000 supporters of the military gathered in Yangon for a rally.

Some of them threatened news photographers, media workers said, as pro and anti-military demonstrators clashed.

All of this was captured and shared online.

Myanmar's military-appointed information ministry did not respond to a request for comment on livestreaming and the role of citizen journalists.

Meanwhile, journalists and citizens are determined to get the word out one Facebook Live at a time.

Video Transcript

- Armed with a smartphone and streaming via Facebook Live, [INAUDIBLE] has been on the streets at anti-war protests in Yangon. Capturing the demonstrations since the military seized power in Myanmar on February 1.

The army detained Democratic Party leaders earlier this month. Including the popular figure Aung San Suu Kyi, after alleging fraud in the November election. Founder of [INAUDIBLE] Media, he is one of many fearless journalists in the country covering the protests day after day. Despite the military turning the internet on and off and threats against media reporting on the coup.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Although there are difficulties, citizen journalists and media outlets are posting online in every way possible in these situations. The main important thing is we need to show the world what's going on in Myanmar.

- The coup has prompted the biggest street protests in more than a decade. But one key difference between the last major uprising in 2007, known as the Saffron Revolution, is the smartphone. Although Facebook is banned by the junta, downloads of VPNs to skirt the block have surged.

These demonstrations are being constantly live streamed. Not just by journalists, but also by citizens on Facebook. Which sees about half the country's 53 million people use the platform.

Over 700 people have been arrested in the past month, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Journalist [INAUDIBLE] was taken away by police earlier this month. She'd been reporting on the demonstrations in the western city of Pathein.

On Thursday, around 1,000 supporters of the military gathered in Yangon for a rally. Some of them threatened news photographers, media workers said, as pro and anti-military demonstrators clashed. All of this was captured and shared online. Myanmar's military appointed information ministry did not respond to a request for comment on live streaming and the role of citizen journalists. Meanwhile, journalists and citizens are determined to get the word out one Facebook Live at a time.