YouTube management removes five channels belonging to the Myanmar military from its platform on Friday (5/3/2021). The deletions, including the YouTube channel of the state-run Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV) network, as well as the military’s Myawaddy Media are used to spread military propaganda in Burma.
YouTube’s move will be the first major intervention by an online video-sharing platform during a military coup in Myanmar.
“We have stopped a number of channels and removed some videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws,” said a spokesperson for YouTube, quoted from The Verge, Sunday (7/3/2021).
The Reuters report said that prior to the coup, YouTube also shut down 34 channels being used as “influence operations” during Myanmar’s 2020 elections.
Facebook Also Restricts Myanmar Military Movements
Apart from YouTube, the social media platform Facebook is also trying to limit Myanmar’s military influence. The trick is to ban all military pages on its platform since February and cut off the organization’s access to advertisements on the platform, according to a report by The New York Times.
In response, according to NetBlocks, the military has banned Facebook and drastically restricted access to all social networks by imposing a regular internet curfew across the country since the coup began.
Facebook’s more active response to military action can be seen as a direct result of the criticism the social network has received for its role in the genocidal violence that took place in Myanmar in 2018.
The YouTube ban certainly doesn’t address all the pro-military propaganda on the platform. But the ban shows a willingness to intervene as protests against the military junta continue.