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Myanmar military rulers order block on Twitter, Instagram ’until further notice’

6 February 2021 09:06 am - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The new military rulers of Myanmar on Friday ordered mobile operators and internet service providers to block access to Twitter and Instagram in the country until further notice, Norwegian telecom Telenor said.

The government had already ordered internet providers on Thursday to block Facebook, which counts half of the population of 54 million as users, until Feb. 7.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology did not immediately answer a request for comment, but said previously it had blocked Facebook for the sake of “stability”.

A spokeswoman for Twitter, which is also facing pressure from authorities in India, said it was “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. The Open Internet is increasingly under threat around the world. We will continue to advocate to end destructive government-led shutdowns,” she said.

A spokesman for Facebook confirmed the block on Instagram.

“We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with family and friends and access important information,” he told Reuters.

In a statement, Telenor expressed “grave concern” about the directive and said it had challenged its necessity to authorities.

Since the ban on Facebook, thousands in Myanmar have flocked to Twitter and Instagram to express their opposition to Monday’s takeover by the army and the ousting and arrest of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Many people are using social media and pro-democracy hashtags to criticize the army’s takeover and call for peaceful protests until the result of November’s election, which was won in a landslide by Suu Kyi’s party, is respected.

The hashtags #RespectOurVotes, #HearTheVoiceofMyanmar, and #SaveMyanmar all had hundreds of thousands of interactions by Friday, according to hashtag tracker BrandMentions.

The military has made unsubstantiated claims that the election of Suu Kyi and her National Democracy League was fraudulent. The election commission said the vote was fair. (Reuters)

  Comments - 3

  • Seb Saturday, 06 February 2021 10:25 AM

    It's funny and kind of hypocrite to hear Twitter and Facebook condemn censorship while they themselves are censoring an entire political party in the USA and elsewhere in Europe on the request of lef wing politicians just because it doesn't fit their narrative.

    ranjit Saturday, 06 February 2021 03:37 PM

    USA they stopped Trumps twitter, because he was twitting false claims and provoking a insurrection which took place on 6th January. Do you want twitter to support such type of illegal activities by not shutting tose accounts?

    Manage Sunday, 07 February 2021 03:25 PM

    It is now in Myanmar. Same thing will happen in Srilanka very soon.Awaiting only for announcement.

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