In Myanmar, the army is no longer afraid of open violence against demonstrators. At least 38 people were killed yesterday, a dismal record since the start of the coup.
But the coup poses even more challenges for the Myanmarese. How can they tell the truth from fake news on Facebook? Their own government is rolling out a disinformation campaign.
February 6th. Five days after the start of the coup, the military in Myanmar shut down the internet. After Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are also inaccessible to the population. The military knows all too well why it is shutting down that internet.
Just like at the time of the Arab Spring, eleven years ago, the internet has now become the place where people find each other and exchange news in Myanmar. About daily life, but also about the coup. And Facebook plays a central role in this.
Facebook has existed in Myanmar for about as long as in our country, but only since democracy was introduced in 2015, the social network has been freely accessible to every Myanmarese. “Before, we had to rely on internet shops,” explains Si Thu.
He is a veterinarian from the capital Yangon. “But now smartphones have become more affordable, and the internet connection is better.”