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Facebook bans four Myanmar rebel groups as crackdown continues

The social network is still fighting efforts to use it for facilitating "offline harm."

Rohingya people fled from oppression in Myanmar

More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since August 2017.

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Facebook has banned four armed groups opposed to Myanmar's military by designating them as "dangerous organizations."

The Arakan Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Kachin Independence Army and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army were booted from the social network, Facebook said in a release Tuesday. 

Facebook is removing "praise, support and representation" of the groups, which haven't signed a government-led ceasefire agreement and often incited violence, Reuters reported.

The bans are part of an effort "to reduce the likelihood that Facebook will be used to facilitate offline harm" -- following on from its 2018 crackdown on the country's military.

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In August and December, the company removed hundreds of accounts and pages after United Nations human rights officials said Myanmar military leaders should be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya Muslims. More than 700,000 of the minority group have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since rebel groups incited a military backlash in August 2017.

Investigators reportedly found that Rohingya Muslims had been victims of crimes including gang rape, enslavement, torching villages and killing children.

Last March, the UN also said Facebook played a "determining role" in the group's' crisis in Myanmar, and an independent report commissioned by the company later said it wasn't doing enough to stop groups using it "to foment division and incite offline violence."

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