GABRIELLA CASTRO WRITES – The use of media propaganda to rally support is not a new phenomenon. However, using violent content to incite military backing is somewhat of a contemporary trend.
Myanmar is a country that is still ripe with social conflict and unrest within its borders. Sites are popping up all over the Internet that are using images like warrior kings, and the Myanmar national flag to draw viewers to their content. The contention with these sites is that the military is actually behind them, and given the Myanmar’s military personnel that are extensively trained in
Information Technology, this idea is not far fetched.
The most startling fact is that many of these sites are using their influence to incite violence. Executive Director of Myanmar’s ICT for Development Organization and blogger Nay Phone Latt argues that the military has to be behind this site because they are able to quickly distribute information and most of the information is from government websites. The two main
proposals of these websites, as noted by Nay Phone Latt, are to encourage violence between religious groups and to foster communication between the supporters. Concrete evidence that supports this allegation can be found in the story of the Arakanese woman who was raped and then murdered by a Muslim man in 2012. Before the government reported this news there were numerous blogs and websites that published the information.
The question is not if the military and government are behind these seedy websites and blogs, but rather why they are turning to such disreputable means. Even with all of the progress Myanmar has made over the years to becoming a more democratic nation there is still a level of corruption present within its most powerful branches of government.