Facebook arrogates a nonexistent authority unto itself:
Facebook announced in a blog post on Thursday that it has removed Instagram and Facebook accounts used by Myanmar’s military to communicate with the public in the wake of a coup by the armed forces in the Asian nation.
The social media company said it was left with no choice but to ban the accounts following the “deadly violence” in the country after the coup, believing that it was too risky to allow the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, to remain on its platforms.
Facebook will also remove and prevent all Tatmadaw-linked commercial entities from advertising on its platforms.
The tech company had previously removed 20 military-linked individuals – including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing – and organizations from the site in 2019 over “severe human rights violations,” and taken down six “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior networks” run by the Tatmadaw in the last two years.
Given its recent conflict with Australia and Canada, I don’t think it will be too terribly long before some nation’s military demonstrates to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook the difference between power and influence. Of course, it’s understandable why Facebook would believe otherwise given how easy it has been for them to buy off politicians in order to avoid legal consequences:
Australian lawmakers have passed a law that forces tech giants like Facebook and Google fork out money for the media content. Critics argue the bill was watered down after Facebook imposed a week-long ban on Australian news. The much-anticipated bill, which is widely expected to serve as a precedent other nations such as Canada might soon follow, seemingly puts an end to the heated row between Facebook and the Australian government that forced last-minute changes to the bill. The changes provided the tech firms with extra time to thrash out the deals with publishers to avoid being subjected to the new rules. The tech companies can potentially skirt the new media bargaining code if they make “significant financial contributions to the sustainability of the Australian news industry.”
I have to admit, I imagined that living in William Gibson’s Sprawl future where global corporations act like nations would be an awful lot cooler than it is.