Defecting online: How Myanmar’s soldiers are deserting the army – BBC News

Mr Lay is now a part of the organisation to which he once turned. He works remotely from a “liberated area” – one of the regions controlled by rebels, where minority ethnic groups are concentrated and the civilian National Unity Government (NUG) holds sway.

He described to me how Facebook and Telegram were central to both his awakening from what he calls “years-long brainwashing” and his escape.

People’s Embrace has more than 100,000 Facebook followers. Would-be defectors who make contact online are vetted, and those who are successfully extracted are provided with food, shelter, security and a stipend.

“If friends [of defectors] want to leave the military, they pass the link to each other,” he says.

The key role that social media plays in the defector pipeline is just the latest twist in the unusual and often troubling use of technology in the modern history of Myanmar.

Source: Defecting online: How Myanmar’s soldiers are deserting the army – BBC News