YouTube removes channels run by Myanmar’s military as violence escalates

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It’s the latest in a wave of actions taken by social media companies since the military coup in the country on February 1, which has sparked a series of mass protests and a brutal crackdown by security forces.
“We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws,” said a spokesperson for YouTube, which is owned by Google (GOOGL).

TikTok, run by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, also announced on Friday that it was working to remove some content in Myanmar.

“The promotion of hate and violence has absolutely no place on our platform,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement on Friday, without elaborating further. “We are aggressively removing content in Myanmar that violates our principles, and continue to monitor the situation.”

A growing crisis

Social media networks have been forced to step up their response to the political situation in Myanmar after the military took power.
Weeks ago, Facebook (FB) restricted the military’s accounts for spreading “misinformation,” saying that it was “treating the situation in Myanmar as an emergency.”

The company also “indefinitely suspended” Myanmar government agencies from using special channels reserved for officials to send it requests to remove content.

“Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” Rafael Frankel, the director of policy at Facebook for emerging economies in Asia Pacific, wrote in a blog post at the time.
After the coup, internet and news services, including Facebook and Twitter (TWTR), were disrupted across the country, limiting the ability of people to get information about the events.
Increasing evidence that Myanmar's military forces are shooting to kill as country mourns young victims

At least 54 people have been killed by police and military officers in Myanmar since February 1, including at least 30 on Wednesday, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. The actual death toll, however, could be much higher, she warned.

In a statement on Thursday, Bachelet said that over 1,700 people had been arbitrarily arrested and detained since February, with the number of such incidents escalating in recent days. At least 700 people were detained on Wednesday alone, she added.

— Akanksha Sharma, Jill Disis and Pauline Lockwood contributed to this report.

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