Facebook has removed hundreds of pages and accounts in Myanmar with hidden links to the military, the platform said yesterday, as the company scrambles to respond to criticism over failures to control hate speech and misinformation.
The social media giant -- Myanmar's most popular and influential site -- has been lambasted for years for its ineffective response to malicious posts, particularly against the country's Rohingya Muslims.
The problem reached new levels of urgency last year as Myanmar's military drove more than 720,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh, while dehumanising material about the stateless group spread on the site.
Facebook said Wednesday some 425 pages, 17 groups, 135 accounts and 15 Instagram accounts had been removed, which were posing as independent news, entertainment, beauty and lifestyle pages but in reality had links to the military or to pages previously removed.
This is Facebook's third sweeping takedown of pages and accounts for what it calls " coordinated inauthentic behavior" in Myanmar following deletions in October and August.
Hardline nationalist monks and even the army's top generals, accused by UN investigators of genocide, are among the users Facebook blacklisted this year.