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Myanmar election fought on Facebook where hate speech is rife

COVID-19 rally ban forces campaigns online as divisions within country rise

A trishaw driver with flags of the National League for Democracy on his bicycle waits for his customer in Yangon, Myanmar, October 2.   © Reuters

YANGON -- With physical election campaigns banned to stop the spread of coronavirus, candidates in Myanmar are being targeted with hate speech and misinformation on social media such as Facebook ahead of the national poll on Nov. 8.

The Union Election Commission banned in-person campaigns and rallies, which began on Sept. 8, in areas where the COVID-19 infection rates are high. Myanmar reported a new daily high of 1,400 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, making the toll top 21,400.

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