Facebook outages ripple across Myanmar after violent clashes

Users report experiencing several-hour blackouts on the social network after sectarian riots left two people dead and 14 injured. Facebook says it can't find any technical issues on its end.

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Myanmar is not known for its Internet connectivity, but it appears Facebook's site has been faring worse than usual over the past week. Users are reporting lengthy Facebook outages after recent outbreaks of sectarian violence in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Myanmar government instituted a curfew in certain cities on Thursday -- and, it was around this same time that the Facebook outages also reportedly began. According to several Twitter users, the outages were lasting from two to six hours.

Religious violence has been raging in the country over the past few months and has resulted in more than 200 people dead and nearly 150,000 homeless, according to CNN. The majority of the violence has been directed at Myanmar's minority Muslim population by alleged nationalistic Buddhists. After the curfews were instated last week in the country's second-largest city Mandalay, riots left two people dead and 14 injured.

Some Facebook users are claiming the Myanmar government is curbing access to the social network. According to The Wall Street Journal, the director of the president's office Zaw Htay commended those users who posted correct information instead of resorting to possibly dangerous rumors.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET the company received a handful of reports of intermittent service in Myanmar but that it could not find any technical issues.

"We are aware of reports. It appears our service is available for the people of Myanmar," the spokesperson told CNET. "We looked into the issue and found no technical issues on our end."

 

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