Myanmar Coup: TikTok Banning Some Myanmar Accounts To Stop The Spread Of Violent Videos

Myanmar Coup: TikTok Banning Some Myanmar Accounts To Stop The Spread Of Violent Videos
Source: A pro-democracy protester is detained by riot police officers during a rally against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 27, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
Myanmar has been in chaos since the February 1st coup.

TikTok says it has “aggressively banned” numerous accounts and devices in Myanmar in an attempt to curb misinformation and the spread of violent videos on its platform.

Rest of World reported that government soldiers in Myanmar had posted hundreds of videos to TikTok since its military seized power in February. The videos range from traditional pro-government propaganda to misinformation meant to confuse protesters and threats from soldiers with weapons.

TikTok removed some of the videos earlier this month after media reports about the rise in hate speech and threats in the Southeast Asian nation. But Rest of the World reports that the short-form video platform admitted it had not moved swiftly enough to stop the spread of the threatening videos and other violent content.

As demonstrators continue to protest the February 1st coup, more than 200 people have been killed in Myanmar, Reuters reported.

7 Killed In Shooting At Myanmar Protest Against Military Coup: Report -  Asume Tech

Riot police officers fire teargas canisters during a protest against the military coup. Source: Asumetech

“The promotion of hate, violence, and misinformation has absolutely no place on TikTok,” a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to The Verge.

“When we identified the rapidly escalating situation in Myanmar, we quickly expanded our dedicated resources and further stepped up efforts to remove violative content. We aggressively banned numerous accounts and devices that we identified promoting dangerous content at scale.”

The spokesperson added that TikTok “will continue to make a significant investment to respond to new threats to keep TikTok in Myanmar a safe platform.”

Activists and rights advocates told Rest of World that the use of TikTok to spread government propaganda in Myanmar bore similarities to the way the country’s military used Facebook to stoke violence and hate speech against the country’s Rohingya minority in the early 2010s.

In February, Facebook said it was banning the Tatmadaw—Myanmar’s military— and other state-controlled entities from both Facebook and Instagram.

Source: The Verge