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Facebook, which is used by almost 40 per cent of the population, said on Friday it was reducing access to a swath of military-run pages and profiles, and “treating the situation in Myanmar as an emergency”. The social media company said it would take action against the pages, including the “True News Information Team”, a military propaganda outlet, and other pages which the company accused of spreading misinformation. Facebook said it was “reducing the distribution” of the pages, meaning users would see significantly less of the content in their news feeds. The US company also suspended government agencies’ ability to send content removal requests by asking for accounts to be suspended or posts taken down.
Myanmar’s dissenters have circumvented the blocks on social media sites by using virtual private networks to voice opposition to the coup and spread news about protests. Demonstrations were held in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, the eastern city of Mawlamyine and elsewhere for the seventh consecutive day on Friday. Anti-China sentiment also flared across the country this week, with social media users alleging that the junta had enlisted Chinese support to implement the draft cyber security law or build an internet-blocking firewall. Protesters gathered on Friday outside the embassies of China and Russia, whose governments they accused of supporting the junta.