The military government that took over power in the southeast Asian country of Myanmar has shut down internet indefinitely. This is coming two months after the legitimately elected government in the country was overthrown through a coup. The coup ushered in series of protests in the country, with reports of violence leading to several deaths.
According to the Washington Post, the military government has ordered the indefinite shut down of broadband internet to suppress press freedom in the troubled country. More than 500 protesters have been killed while thousands have been arrested in attempts to quell the unrest.
The military junta had earlier ordered that internet connection in the country be throutled which affected the ability of people to access broadband services. This time around, it is a complete blackout as users will not be able to access broadband internet.
Shortly after blocking Facebook apparently to silence the voice of the people, the government in February ordered that Instagram and Twitter be blocked “until further notice.”
Prior to being blocked, Facebook users had been reportedly using the platform to protest the coup. Users, according to WSJ, were using the platform to share images of themselves giving the three-finger salute that has now become associated with resistance in the region.
“All mobile operators, international gateways and internet service providers in Myanmar received a directive on 5 February 2021 from the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) to, until further notice, block the social media platforms Twitter and Instagram,” Norwegian telecom company Telenor said in a statement per The Verge.
A couple of weeks ago, TikTok stepped up measures to curb the spread of violent videos on its platform. The video-sharing app started blocking numerous accounts, which it believed would help it to control the violent protest currently engulfing the southeast Asian country.
Perhaps, TikTok needed to have made this move earlier, but this latest action could help slow down the spate of violence in the troubled country caused by the February 1 military coup.
Rest of World reports that TikTok started removing the videos in early March; though this could have been done a little earlier. That TikTok did not act until social media critics and rights activists started pointing the dangers of such evil shows that a lot still needs to be done by the ByteDance-owned app.
YouTube had earlier removed five military-run channels as a fallout of the recent coup in Myanmar. The coup that swept the legitimately elected government out of power has been criticized by government and organizations all over the world. Despite several threats and measures taken by governments, individuals and organizations, the military in the Southeast Asian country has refused to back down.