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YouTube has terminated five Myanmar military-run channels as political unrest continues

YouTube has terminated five Myanmar military-run channels as political unrest continues


Platforms continue to try to limit the military’s online reach

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Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

YouTube terminated five Myanmar military channels from its platform on Friday, Reuters reports. The removals include YouTube channels for the government-run Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV) network and the military-owned Myawaddy Media used to spread military propaganda in Myanmar.

YouTube’s action is the platform’s first major intervention following the military coup that was staged in February and the subsequent military crackdowns against protesters that have left at least 38 dead. “We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws,” a YouTube spokesperson tells The Verge. Prior to the coup, the company also terminated 34 channels used as “influence operations” during Myanmar’s election in 2020, according to Reuters.

Facebook has also attempted to limit the military’s influence, banning all military pages on its platforms in February and cutting off the organization’s access to ads on the platform, The New York Times reports. In response, the military banned Facebook and has drastically limited access to all social networks by enacting regular internet curfews across the country since the coup began, according to NetBlocks. Facebook’s more active response to the military’s actions could be seen as a direct result of the criticism the social network received for its role in the genocidal violence that occurred in Myanmar in 2018.

YouTube’s bans surely haven’t addressed all pro-military propaganda on the platform, but they show a willingness to intervene as protests against the military junta continue.