YouTube removes Myanmar military channels as violence intensifies

CATHERINE THORBECKE
·2 min read

YouTube said Friday it has removed videos and channels associated with Myanmar's military after protests over an apparent coup last month have erupted in deadly violence.

"We have terminated a number of channels and removed several videos from YouTube in accordance with our community guidelines and applicable laws," a YouTube spokesperson told ABC News Friday.

MORE: Myanmar authorities kill at least 38 peaceful protesters in bloodiest day since coup

The spokesperson for YouTube, which is owned by Google's Alphabet Inc., did not specify how many videos or channels were removed related to the violence in Myanmar.

PHOTO: Police officers fire their weapons during a protest in Yangon, Myanmar, March 4, 2021, in this still image taken from a video obtained by Reuters. (Video Obtained By Reuters/via Reuters)
PHOTO: Police officers fire their weapons during a protest in Yangon, Myanmar, March 4, 2021, in this still image taken from a video obtained by Reuters. (Video Obtained By Reuters/via Reuters)

The move comes on the heels of Facebook announcing last week that it was banning Myanmar military and military-controlled state and media entities, as well as ads from military-linked commercial entities on Facebook and Instagram.

"We’re continuing to treat the situation in Myanmar as an emergency and we remain focused on the safety of our community, and the people of Myanmar more broadly," Rafael Frankel, Facebook's director of policy for APAC Emerging Countries, said in a company blog post.

PHOTO: A sister of Zwal Htet Soe, 26, mourns over the coffin containing his body during a funeral for protesters who were shot dead in clashes with military and police on March 05, 2021, at the Yay Way cemetery in Yangon, Myanmar. (Stringer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A sister of Zwal Htet Soe, 26, mourns over the coffin containing his body during a funeral for protesters who were shot dead in clashes with military and police on March 05, 2021, at the Yay Way cemetery in Yangon, Myanmar. (Stringer/Getty Images)

"Events since the Feb. 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban," Frankel added. "We believe the risks of allowing the Tatmadaw [Myanmar military] on Facebook and Instagram are too great."

PHOTO: Protesters take cover as they clash with riot police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 28, 2021.  (Stringer/Reuters)
PHOTO: Protesters take cover as they clash with riot police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb. 28, 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

At least 38 protesters were killed by authorities in Myanmar on Wednesday, marking the bloodiest day since the military seized power, according to United Nations special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener.

MORE: Myanmar protests against coup continue as military junta frees thousands of prisoners

Peaceful demonstrations have been taking place in cities across the Southeast Asian nation since its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party were detained by the military on Feb. 1.

PHOTO: In this file photo, the Youtube logo is seen displayed on a phone screen. (NurPhoto via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this file photo, the Youtube logo is seen displayed on a phone screen. (NurPhoto via Getty Images, FILE)

The protest movement has been growing and the military junta, which calls itself the State Administration Council, has become increasingly violent in its response as weeks of internet shutdowns, threats and mass arrests have not stopped thousands of people from voicing their opposition.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor and Karson Yiu contributed to this report.

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