TikTok says it has “aggressively banned” numerous accounts and devices in Myanmar, in an attempt to curb misinformation and the spread of violent videos on its platform.
Rest of World reported that government soldiers in Myanmar have posted hundreds of videos to TikTok since its military seized power in February. The videos ranges from traditional pro-government propaganda, to misinformation meant to confuse protesters, to threats from soldiers with weapons.
TikTok removed some of the videos earlier this month after media reports about the rise in hate speech and threats in the southeast Asian nation. But Rest of World reports that the short-form video platform admitted it had not moved swiftly enough to stop the spread of the threatening videos and other violent content.
As demonstrators continue to protest the February 1st coup, more than 200 people have been killed in Myanmar, Reuters reported.
“The promotion of hate, violence and misinformation has absolutely no place on TikTok,” a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to ThinkAuthority. “When we identified the rapidly escalating situation in Myanmar, we quickly expanded our dedicated resources and further stepped up efforts to remove violative content. We aggressively banned numerous accounts and devices that we identified promoting dangerous content at scale.”
The spokesperson added that TikTok “will continue to make significant investment to respond to new threats in order to keep TikTok in Myanmar a safe platform.”
Activists and rights advocates told Rest of World that the use of TikTok to spread government propaganda in Myanmar bore similarities to the way the country’s military used Facebook to stoke violence and hate speech against the country’s Rohingya minority in the early 2010s.
In February, Facebook said it was banning the Tatmadaw—Myanmar’s military— and other state-controlled entities from both Facebook and Instagram.