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This article was published on March 3, 2011

Burma starting a Facebook revolution of its own

Burma starting a Facebook revolution of its own
Francis Tan
Story by

Francis Tan

Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

In an attempt to follow the democratic revolution in Egypt, a group of Burmese activists have set up an anti-government Facebook page called “Just Do It Against Military Dictatorship.”

According to a report from Asia Sentinel, the social networking campaign, which started 2 days after Mumbarak’s resignation, denounces the country’s military dictatorship, calls for Burmese military chief Senior-General Than Shwe and his family to leave the country and urges the army to join with the people.

The Facebook page, now known as “JD” with more than 1,000 supporters, has prompted the distribution of anti-government material across Burma. Inspired by what transpired in Egypt, supporters of JD believe that no dictator can resist a popular movement.

Due to the limited Internet access in Burma, it remains uncertain how much further the Facebook campaign can go. Facebook is already the second most popular site in the country that only has 400,000 Internet users. Despite the relatively small size of the activist group, the Burmese authorities, notorious for brutal repression against any form of dissent, have apparently heightened security in Rangoon, the country’s largest city.

I have nothing against the supporters of JD but I’m really concerned with the safety of the people who joined this public Facebook page considering the hostile nature of the government. Nevertheless, I hope for a peaceful revolution in the country.