The southeast Asian nation of Myanmar – also known as Burma – has banned popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter after the algorithms of the platforms promoted posts that encouraged protests against the country’s military.
Myanmar’s nationalist military arrested the liberal political leaders of the country on Monday after the politicians were accused of vote fraud in the November election. The military subsequently formed a transitional government, called the State Administrative Council, consisting of members from the military itself and from multiple political parties, which they say will be in power for one year until free and fair elections can be held.
Unfortunately, the vast NGO network connected to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations then leapt into action, fomenting mass protests across the country in favor of the deposed former State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, a close associate of Hillary Clinton.
This attempt at a color revolution in Myanmar was enabled by social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, whose algorithms eagerly promoted content that advocated unrest there. Twitter pushed the hashtag “#RespectOurVotes” in Myanmar, which appeared reminiscent of statements made by Joe Biden in the United States to disregard the Trump campaign’s legitimate challenges to the official 2020 U.S. election result.
The new government of Myanmar reacted strongly towards the big tech subversion, banning Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for their intervention in the country’s domestic politics.
Twitter then bizarrely claimed the ban was a threat to the “Open Internet”, despite Twitter’s own mass censorship of President Donald Trump and his supporters from their platform.
“We’re deeply concerned about the order to block Internet services in Myanmar. It undermines the public conversation and the rights of people to make their voices heard,” a Twitter spokesman said. “The Open Internet is increasingly under threat around the world. We will continue to advocate to end destructive government-led shutdowns.”
Facebook was somewhat more upfront about their aims, admitting their goal was to get what they considered to be “important information” – in other words, information produced by Soros groups – to the people of Myanmar.
“We strongly urge the authorities to order the unblocking of all social media services,” Facebook’s APAC Director of Public Policy said. “At this critical time, the people of Myanmar need access to important information.”
In 2018, Facebook banned General Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, claiming that they wanted “to prevent [him] from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions”. Hlaing currently serves as the chairman of Myanmar’s new transitional government.
Social media platforms are facing increased pressure around the world for their brazen interference in elections and other political processes to undermine conservative or nationalist governments. Strong responses of the kind implemented in Myanmar will likely only become more widespread as a result.