Google-Viber review adverts run by a Myanmar military-backed telecommunications
Google and Rakuten-owned messaging app Viber said on Wednesday they were reviewing recent advertisements run by a Myanmar military-backed telecommunications firm following the February 1 coup.
The move comes as activists called on the technology giants to restrict access to the company’s services after dozens of deaths following weeks of protests against the military’s seizure of power.
Justice for Myanmar, an advocacy group looking at the army’s business interests, said on Wednesday it had found that Google and Viber were running new advertisements for Mytel, a Myanmar telecoms company partially owned by the army, following a ban by Facebook.
More than 60 protesters have been killed and 1,900 people have been arrested since the coup, an advocacy group said.
Following the publication of the Reuters story, Viber said on Wednesday it was stopping all advertising in Myanmar temporarily.
“We are looking into the current situation to ensure all ads comply with guidelines,” the company said in a tweet responding to Reuters, noting that during this “analysis”, all advertising would be suspended. ”Viber continues to focus on the most important task - ensuring people in Myanmar continue to communicate freely and securely under the circumstances.”