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YouTube cancels Myanmar military-run channels

Tech giant says the channels violated policies on hate speech and harassment, spam and deceptive practices, norms on graphic content

Medical personnel and students during a demonstration against the military coup, in Yangon, on Thursday. Pic/AFP

YouTube has removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military for violating its community guidelines and terms of service. The company said on Friday that it terminated channels of broadcasters Myawaddy Media, MRTV, WD Online Broadcasting, MWD Variety and MWD Myanmar. The decision follows a February 1 military coup that ousted the country’s elected government, provoking massive public protests.

“We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws,” YouTube said in an emailed statement. The action comes at a time when the White House has said that the situation on the ground in Myanmar is “troubling” and the Biden administration has been working closely with its partners in the region.

The company said it was monitoring the situation for any content that might violate its rules. YouTube said it had terminated around 20 channels and removed over 160 videos in the past couple months for violating its policies regarding hate speech and harassment, spam and deceptive practices, violent or graphic content policy and violations of its terms of service.

In December, it pulled 34 channels as part of an investigation into content uploaded in a coordinated influence campaign. That campaign uploaded content about elections in Myanmar, regional conflicts and news related to the US, China and Malaysia, the company said

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