Before you get all high and mighty, didn’t we just do this in America to a lesser degree? While we did not shut down the internet totally, we did have an active elite who took it upon themselves to silence dissenters by blocking their access to ubiquitous platforms. The perquisites for a seizure of power in the age of mass media have been the same for hundreds of years – first, take control of the means of communication. In the 20th century, this meant occupying the radio and TV stations. Today, it means silencing dissent on social media.
Myanmar’s military rulers have shut down the country’s internet as thousands of people joined the largest rally yet against Monday’s coup.
A near-total internet blackout is in effect with connectivity falling to 16% of ordinary levels, said the monitoring group NetBlocks Internet Observatory.
In the main city, Yangon, crowds chanted “Military dictator, fail, fail; Democracy, win, win”.
Police with riot shields have blocked the main roads into the city centre.
The internet shutdown happened hours after the military had blocked access to Twitter and Instagram to stop people mobilising for protests. Facebook had been banned a day earlier.