YouTube has removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military

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Namita Singh
·2 min read
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<p>A protester holds a makeshift shield with the picture of armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on 5 March 2021</p> (AFP)

A protester holds a makeshift shield with the picture of armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on 5 March 2021

(AFP)

YouTube has removed five channels run by the Myanmar military from its platform for violating its community guidelines after weeks of violence against opponents of last month’s military coup.

“We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws,” a YouTube spokesperson told Reuters.

The company said it pulled down the channels of state networks including MRTV, (Myanmar Radio and Television) as well as the military-owned Myawaddy Media, MWD Variety, and MWD Myanmar.

The decision comes in the wake of the military coup in the southeast Asian country that ousted the elected Aung San Suu Kyi government on 1 February, leading to widespread public outrage and protest.

More than 50 people have died in the country since the military seized power, with 38 killed on Wednesday. At least one person was killed on Friday after police opened fire at the protestors.

According to the Associated Press, YouTube said it had suspended around 20 channels and removed over 160 videos from its platform for violating its hate speech and harassment related policy.

The company further told the news wire agency, that in December last year, it had terminated 34 channels after its investigation revealed that the content on those channels were uploaded as a part of a coordinated campaign around elections in Myanmar, regional conflicts and news related to US, China and Malaysia.

The action by the Google-owned video platform comes after Facebook announced that it had removed all the pages linked Myanmar military from both its main site and Instagram. The social media giant said it was forced to ban the pages from both its platforms as a result of the “deadly violence” that followed the coup. The regime also banned Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Social media platforms are struggling with moderating military content on their platforms, especially around hate-speech and propaganda. More recently, Reuters reported that Myanmar soldiers and police were using TikTok to send death threats to the protestors.

Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won the November elections by a landslide, but the military argued poll rigging as a justification for seizing power.

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