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Google has pulled down a propaganda blog backing the military coup in Myanmar after outcry by online activists (GOOG)


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Google has pulled down a propaganda blog supporting the military coup in Myanmar after the blog was discovered by an online activist this week. 

The blog was managed and hosted via the Google-owned Blogger platform under the URL seniorgeneralminaunghlaing.com, taking its name from the Myanmar military leader who has seized control of the country. 

Claiming there was mass voter fraud during the country’s November elections, the military seized control of Myanmar on February 1. An independent election committee reviewed the claims and found them to be baseless. The US formally declared the military takeover as a coup on February 2. The Biden administration announced sanctions against the military on February 11. 

Hacker and activist Donk Enby discovered the coup’s use of Blogger for propaganda and of Gmail accounts in managing companies on the US sanctions list released by Biden to discourage business with the military. Insider wrote about the use of Google tools by the military on Tuesday. Protesters of the military coup retweeted Insider’s tweet of the article more than 850 times. Google removed the blog on Saturday. Financial information about the coup discovered by Enby is now being hosted by freedom-of-information activists on the website DDOS Secrets.   

“We take action against accounts on our platforms in accordance with our product policies and applicable laws,” a Google spokesperson told Insider. “In this case, we have terminated accounts as a result of President Biden’s Executive Order of 11 February 2021 concerning Myanmar.” Google also removed apps run by the coup from its Play Store app marketplace. 

After the blog was pulled down, Enby told Insider that “taking down Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s website and propaganda apps on the Play Store is a step in the right direction, but Google should speak out and tell us whether they also intend to cut them off from services like Gmail that he and his cronies rely on to do their day-to-day business.” 

Google did not respond to questions about pulling other services used by the coup. 

A post on the blog on Monday claimed the military leadership “has not changed the path of multi-party democracy. All tasks are being carried out in accord with the Constitution (2008). No policies were changed in politics, administration, economic, social affairs, peace and international relations.” The domain listed its registrant organization as the Myanmar Ministry of Defence.

The United Nations cited the blog in a 2019 report noting the coup’s promotion of “a false narrative propagated to breed hatred.”  

The coup’s leaders, which earlier corresponded with Insider via a Gmail account also discovered by Enby, did not respond to a request for comment. 

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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