[Update added on October 15, 2018 at 8:37 AM PST to include additional takedowns]

Taking down more coordinated inauthentic behavior in Myanmar

Today, we removed 13 Pages and 10 accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook in Myanmar. As part of our ongoing investigations into this type of behavior in Myanmar we discovered that these seemingly independent entertainment, beauty and informational Pages were linked to the Myanmar military. This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook under our misrepresentation policy because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing.

  • Presence on Facebook: 13 Pages, 10 accounts
  • Followers: About 1.35 million unique people followed at least one of these 13 Pages
  • Some of the most followed Pages were Beauty and Classic, ဆရာမလေးများ (Young Female Teachers), စစ်သား ဓါတ်ပုံများ စုစည်းမူ (Collection of Soldier’s Photos), မိုးနတ်မင်း (Lord of Heaven)

We are grateful to The New York Times for sharing what they learned about the use of celebrity and entertainment accounts to push military propaganda, which aided our investigation and this take-down.

The work we are doing to identify and remove bad content, bad behavior and bad actors on Facebook in Myanmar is some of the most important work being done at the company. We want to make it more difficult for people to manipulate our platform in Myanmar and will continue to investigate and take action on this behavior.

[Original post published on August 28, 2018]

The ethnic violence in Myanmar has been truly horrific. Earlier this month, we shared an update on the steps we’re taking to prevent the spread of hate and misinformation on Facebook. While we were too slow to act, we’re now making progress – with better technology to identify hate speech, improved reporting tools, and more people to review content.

Today, we are taking more action in Myanmar, removing a total of 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook Pages, followed by almost 12 million people. We are preserving data, including content, on the accounts and Pages we have removed.

Specifically, we are banning 20 individuals and organizations from Facebook in Myanmar — including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military’s Myawady television network. International experts, most recently in a report by the UN Human Rights Council-authorized Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, have found evidence that many of these individuals and organizations committed or enabled serious human rights abuses in the country. And we want to prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions. This has led us to remove six Pages and six accounts from Facebook — and one account from Instagram — which are connected to these individuals and organizations. We have not found a presence on Facebook or Instagram for all 20 individuals and organizations we are banning.

We have also removed 46 Pages and 12 accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook. During a recent investigation, we discovered that they used seemingly independent news and opinion Pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military. This type of behavior is banned under our misrepresentation policy because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make.

We continue to work to prevent the misuse of Facebook in Myanmar — including through the independent human rights impact assessment we commissioned earlier in the year. This is a huge responsibility given so many people there rely on Facebook for information — more so than in almost any other country given the nascent state of the news media and the recent rapid adoption of mobile phones. It’s why we’re so determined to do better in the future.

A sample of the content from these Pages and accounts is included below. These Pages and accounts were removed for coordinated inauthentic behavior, not content violations.

The following pieces of content violate our Community Standards and were removed from Facebook.