Alphabet’s YouTube has removed five channels from Myanmar’s military television networks hosted on its platform since the coup in the Southeast Asian country.
“We stopped a number of channels and removed some videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws, “a YouTube spokesman said in a statement in response to a question from Reuters.
The downloaded channels include the state-run MRTV (Myanmar Radio and Television) network, as well as the military Myawaddy Media, MWD Variety and MWD Myanmar, YouTube reported.
Their removal comes during the bloodiest week of protests against the coup, with 38 people killed on Wednesday, according to the UN, as security forces tried to crush rallies and used live tours in some areas.
The army took power on February 1st, alleging mass fraud in the November election won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. The election commission said the vote was fair, but the military used the media to justify its argument and justify the takeover.
MRTV pages were banned by Facebook in February, while he had previously banned Myawaddy in 2018, when he banned Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing – now a military ruler – and more than a dozen other senior officers and organizations on the platform.
Facebook already has banned all pages associated with the Myanmar army – and it itself was banned by the junta in February.
Other social media platforms are also struggling to moderate the military content and dissemination of hate speech and misinformation in Myanmar.
Reuters reported Thursday that Myanmar troops and police are using it TikTok to send death threats to protesters
Researchers say that after the ban on Facebook, the military is trying to increase its presence on other platforms.
YouTube has faced criticism from researchers and civil society groups for a relatively practical approach during the November 8 vote in Myanmar.
A Reuters review found dozens of YouTube-hosted channels that promoted election misinformation by presenting themselves either as news bulletins or as political programs.
Google said in December that it had shut down 34 YouTube channels following an investigation into coordinated influence operations involving Myanmar.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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