Myanmar military use Facebook to sow propaganda and fear


In a systematic campaign over more than five years, Myanmar military used Facebook to covertly spread propaganda, mostly against the Rohynga, via accounts that appeared to be dedicated to pop stars and entertainment, turning the social media site into a tool for ethnic cleansing. Having garnered a mass following, the military operatives then used the pages to distribute false news, and spread hostility and division. In one campaign in 2017, the military's intelligence group sought to convince both Muslims and Buddhists that the other side was about to attack, with the goal of convincing both sides that they needed military protection. Facebook said it took down a series of accounts apparently focused on entertainment but tied to the military that collectively had 1.3 million followers. The military learned psychological warfare of this type during its decades in power, when the goal was to discredit radio broadcasts from the BBC and Voice of America.

writer: Paul Mozur
Publication: New York Times

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