Author: Jon Russell

Manipulating an Indian politician’s tweets is worryingly easy to do

Here’s a concerning story from India, where the upcoming election is putting the use of social media in the spotlight.

While the Indian government is putting Facebook, Google and other companies under pressure to prevent their digital platforms from being used for election manipulation, a journalist has demonstrated just how easy it is to control the social media messages published by government ministers.

Pon Radhakrishnan, India’s minister of state for finance and shipping, published a series of puzzling tweets today after Pratik Sinha, a co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, accessed a Google document of prepared statements and tinkered with the content.

Among the statements tweeted out, Radhakrishnan said Prime Minister Modi’s government had failed the middle classes and had not made development on improving the country’s general welfare. Sinha’s edits also led to the official BJP Assam Pradesh account proclaiming that the prime minister had destroyed all villages and made women slaves to cooking.

These are the opposite of the partisan messages that the accounts intended to send.

The messages were held in an unlocked Google document that contained a range of tweets compiled for the Twitter accounts. Sinha managed to access the document and doctor the messages into improbable statements — which he has done before — in order to show the shocking lack of security and processes behind the social media content.

Sinha said he made the edits “to demonstrate how dangerous this is from the security standpoint for this country.”

“I had fun but it could have disastrous consequences,” he told TechCrunch in a phone interview. “This is a massive security issue from the point of view of a democracy.”

Sinha said he was able to access the document — which was not restricted or locked to prevent changes — through a WhatsApp group that is run by members of the party. Declining to give specifics, he said he had managed to infiltrate the group and thus gain access to a flow of party and government information and, even more surprisingly, get right into the documents and edit them.

What’s equally as stunning is that, even with the message twisted 180 degrees, their content didn’t raise an alarm. The tweets were still loaded and published without any realization. It was only after Sinha went public with the results that Radhakrishnan and BJP Assam Pradesh account begin to delete them.

The Indian government is rightly grilling Facebook and Google to prevent its platform being abused around the election, as evidence suggested happened in the U.S. presidential election and the U.K.’s Brexit vote, but members of the government themselves should reflect on the security of their own systems, too. It would be too easy for these poor systems to be exploited.

Facebook bans four armed groups in Myanmar

Facebook is taking action in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country where the social network has been used to incite racial tension and violence, after it banned four armed groups from its service.

The U.S. company said in a blog post that it has booted the groups — the Arakan Army (AA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Kachin Independence Army (KIO) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) — and that “all related praise, support and representation” will be removed.

The groups are among the many Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) that exist in Myanmar, which was under military rule until elections in 2015 partially opened the country.

Explaining that the groups have violated its terms of service, Facebook said:

There is clear evidence that these organizations have been responsible for attacks against civilians and have engaged in violence in Myanmar, and we want to prevent them from using our services to further inflame tensions on the ground.

We recognize that the sources of ethnic violence in Myanmar are incredibly complex and cannot be resolved by a social media company, but we also want to do the best we can to limit incitement and hate that furthers an already deadly conflict.

In recent times, the MNDAA was blamed for at least 30 deaths, including civilians, in 2017 during a skirmish with security forces on the northern border with China — the group responded at the time using a Facebook group — while, in January of this year, the AA was said to have killed 13 government troops as part of an attack on Independence Day. Last month, the government called for a cease-fire due to an apparent 13 incidents of fighting between EAOs.

The internet only became available and affordable to people in Myanmar after 2015, and already swathes of the country has flocked to Facebook, which is widely heralded as ‘the internet’ in the country. Facebook has some 20 million users in Myanmar, that’s nearly all of the country’s internet users and nearly 40 percent of the population.

That digital revolution has allowed anyone to sign up to reach audiences and spread messages. That’s true across the world, but particularly extreme in Myanmar, where the country’s religious conflict has expanded into the digital arena in a short space of time only to exacerbate the problems.

Since August 2017, an estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslims are said to have fled Myanmar following the destruction of their homes and persecution in the northern Rakhine province. Much of the violence is reported to have been state-led. A UN fact-finding mission last year concluded that Facebook played a “determining role” in inciting the genocide.

In response, Facebook has introduced new security features and announced plans to increase its team of Burmese language content translators to 100 people. While it doesn’t intend to open an office in Myanmar due to security concerns, it has ramped up its efforts to expel bad actors. Beyond today’s removals, it has taken down scores of accounts and groups and, among others, removed the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and military-owned TV network Myawady from its platform.

But still, those on the ground are critical. Facebook, they said, still isn’t fully committed to Myanmar, it is moving too slow and it is asking too much of the volunteers and civic groups that have offered their assistance.

For one thing, the social network was rounded criticized after CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that it was using AI to remove hate speech in Myanmar. The company was, in fact, reliant on locals reporting the content before it took action, a process that took days.

To skeptics, the latest removals look like more ‘whack-a-mobile’ tactics to remove problems only once they have become problems. In banning (EAOs), Facebook has set a precedent that could sweep up other legitimate organizations based on the actions of minorities within their ranks, government claims or other situations. Some EAOs act as proxy governments in certain parts of the country.

Update 02/05 02:44 am PST: The headline of this story was updated for accuracy

Facebook removes hundreds of accounts linked to fake news group in Indonesia

Facebook said today it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram accounts with links to an organization that peddled fake news.

The world’s fourth largest country with a population of more than 260 million, Indonesia is in an election year alongside Southeast Asia neighbors Thailand and the Philippines. Facebook said this week it has set up an “election integrity” team in Singapore, its APAC HQ, as it tries to prevent its social network being misused in the lead-up to voting as happened in the U.S.

This Indonesia bust is the first move announced since that task force was put in place, and it sees 207 Facebook Pages, 800 Facebook accounts, 546 Facebook Groups and 208 Instagram accounts removed for “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

“About 170,000 people followed at least one of these Facebook Pages, and more than 65,000 followed at least one of these Instagram accounts,” Facebook said of the reach of the removed accounts.

The groups and accounts are linked to Saracen Group, a digital media group that saw three of its members arrested by police in 2016 for spreading “incendiary material,” as Reuters reports.

Facebook isn’t saying too much about the removals other than: “we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people.”

In January, the social network banned a fake news group in the Philippines in similar circumstances.

Despite the recent action, the U.S. company has struggled to manage the flow of false information that flows across its services in Asia. The most extreme examples come from Myanmar, where the UN has concluded that Facebook played a key role in escalating religious hatred and fueling violence. Facebook has also been criticized for allowing manipulation in Sri Lanka and the Philippines, among other places.

A photo of an egg has toppled reality star Kylie Jenner as Instagram’s most-liked post

Instagram has found something it likes more than a Kardashian-Jenner family baby, and it’s an egg.

This weekend, a photo of a plain egg became the most-liked photo on Instagram, the social app owned by Facebook with more than one billion users that’s reflective of internet culture.

The photo, which you can see below in its full glory, currently had more than 23 million likes at the time of writing. That has seen it surpass a February 18 photo from Kylie Jenner — the sister of Kim Kardashian and a reality TV star in her own right — which announced the birth of her baby with rapper Travis Scott and has 18.2 million likes.

Unlike Jenner, who has 21 million Instagram followers, the egg account — “world_record_egg” — is a newcomer that seems to have been created in early January. Nothing is known of its ownership, although it had 2.4 million followers at the time of writing, which could — and I can’t believe I’m writing this… — make it an influencer account.

While much can be said about Jenner’s rise to fame, she’s a pretty successful entrepreneur. Her two-year-old “Kylie Cosmetics” brand is estimated to gross over $600 million in annual revenue. While it is funny that a photo of an egg can take the record on Instagram, there might be more to it. Jenner’s company trades on her brand, the egg could be a rejection or protest of today’s reality TV culture… which is best embodied by the Kardashians and, in particular, Kylie Jenner. That certainly seems the case looking at the splurge in new and egg-related comments on Jenner’s birth post from last year.

Maybe that’s wishful thinking and this is just another internet phenomenon that can’t be explained. It could simply be a joke that blew up, but don’t discount the potential that this is a stunt from a company launching a new product or wanting to make a splash.

Showing that she might have a sense of humor, 21-year-old Jenner acknowledged the new record in a video of her smashing an egg.

View this post on Instagram

Take that little egg

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

This is the second social media record set this year after Twitter got a new most-retweeted tweet — however, the roles were very much different.

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire who is paying Elon Musk’s SpaceX for a trip to the moon, saw a tweet that offered nearly $1 million in prize money for retweets surpass a true internet phenomenon, U.S. teen Carter Wilkerson. Back in April 2017, Wilkerson took to Twitter to plead for free chicken nuggets; his original tweet now has around 3.6 million retweets.

Vietnam threatens to penalize Facebook for breaking its draconian cybersecurity law

Well, that didn’t take long. We’re less than 10 days into 2019 and already Vietnam is aiming threats at Facebook for violating its draconian cybersecurity law, which came into force on January 1.

The U.S. social network stands accused of allowing users in Vietnam to post “slanderous content, anti-government sentiment and libel and defamation of individuals, organisations and state agencies,” according to a report from state-controlled media Vietnam News.

The content is said to have been flagged to Facebook which, reports say, has “delayed removing” it.

That violates the law which — passed last June — broadly forbids internet users from organizing with, or training, others for anti-state purposes, spreading false information, and undermining the nation state’s achievements or solidarity, according to reports at the time. It also requires foreign internet companies to operate a local office and store user information on Vietnamese soil. That’s something neither Google nor Facebook has complied with, despite the Vietnamese government’s recent claim that the former is investigating a local office launch.

In addition, the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) claimed Facebook had violated online advertising rules by allowing accounts to promote fraudulent products and scams, while it is considering penalties for failure to pay tax. The Vietnamese report claimed some $235 million was spent on Facebook ads in 2018, with $152.1 million going to Google.

Facebook responded by clarifying its existing channels for reporting illegal content.

“We have a clear process for governments to report illegal content to us, and we review all these requests against our terms of service and local law. We are transparent about the content restrictions we make in accordance with local law in our Transparency Report,” a Facebook representative told TechCrunch in a statement.

TechCrunch understands that the company is in contact with the Vietnamese government and it intends to review content flagged as illegal before making a decision.

Vietnamese media reports claim that Facebook has already told the government that the content in question doesn’t violate its community standards.

It looks likely that the new law will see contact from Vietnamese government censors spike, but Facebook has acted on content before. The company’s latest transparency report covers the first half of 2018 and it shows that it received 12 requests for data in Vietnam, granting just two. Facebook confirmed it has previously taken action on content that has included the alleged illegal sale of regulated products, trade of wildlife and efforts to impersonate an individual.

Facebook did not respond to the tax liability claim.

The company previously indicated its concern about the cybersecurity law via Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) — a group that represents the social media giant as well as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Line and others — which cautioned that the regulations would negatively impact Vietnam.

“The provisions for data localization, controls on content that affect free speech, and local office requirements will undoubtedly hinder the nation’s fourth Industrial Revolution ambitions to achieve GDP and job growth,” AIC wrote in a statement in June.

“Unfortunately, these provisions will result in severe limitations on Vietnam’s digital economy, dampening the foreign investment climate and hurting opportunities for local businesses and SMEs to flourish inside and beyond Vietnam,” it added.

Vietnam is increasingly gaining a reputation as a growing market for startups, but the cybersecurity act threatens to impact that. One key issue is that the broad terms appear to give the government significant scope to remove content that it deems offensive.

“This decision has potentially devastating consequences for freedom of expression in Vietnam. In the country’s deeply repressive climate, the online space was a relative refuge where people could go to share ideas and opinions with less fear of censure by the authorities,” said Amnesty International.

Vietnam News reports that the authorities are continuing to collect evidence against Facebook.

“If Facebook did not take positive steps, Vietnamese regulators would apply necessary economic and technical measures to ensure a clean and healthy network environment,” the ABEI is reported to have said.

Indonesia unblocks Tumblr following its ban on adult content

Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population, has unblocked Tumblr nine months after it blocked the social networking site over pornographic content.

Tumblr — which, disclaimer, is owned by Oath Verizon Media Group just like TechCrunch — announced earlier this month that it would remove all “adult content” from its platform. That decision, which angered many in the adult entertainment industry who valued the platform as an increasingly rare outlet that supported erotica, was a response to Apple removing Tumblr’s app from the iOS Store after child pornography was found within the service.

The impact of this new policy has made its way to Indonesia, where KrAsia reports that the service was unblocked earlier this week. The service had been blocked in March after falling foul of the country’s anti-pornography laws.

“Tumblr sent an official statement regarding the commitment to clean the platform from pornographic content,” Ferdinandus Setu, acting head of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics Bureau, is reported to have said in a press statement.

Messaging apps WhatsApp and Line are among the other services that have been forced to comply with the government’s ban on “unsuitable” content in order to keep their services open in the country. Telegram, meanwhile, removed suspected terrorist content last year after its service was partially blocked.

While perhaps not widely acknowledged in the West, Indonesia is a huge market, with a population of more than 260 million people. The world’s largest Muslim country, it is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and its growth is tipped to help triple the region’s digital economy to $240 billion by 2025.

In other words, Indonesia is a huge market for internet companies.

The country’s anti-porn laws have been used to block as many as 800,000 websites as of 2017so potentially over a million by now — but they have also been used to take aim at gay dating apps, some of which have been removed from the Google Play Store. As Vice notes, “while homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, it’s no secret that the country has become a hostile place for the LGBTQ community.”

Jack Dorsey and Twitter ignored opportunity to meet with civic group on Myanmar issues

Responding to criticism from his recent trip to Myanmar, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said he’s keen to learn about the country’s racial tension and human rights atrocities, but it has emerged that both he and Twitter’s public policy team ignored an opportunity to connect with a key civic group in the country.

A loose group of six companies in Myanmar has engaged with Facebook in a bid to help improve the situation around usage of its services in the country — often with frustrating results — and key members of that alliance, including Omidyar-backed accelerator firm Phandeeyar, contacted Dorsey via Twitter DM and emailed the company’s public policy contacts when they learned that the CEO was visiting Myanmar.

The plan was to arrange a forum to discuss the social media concerns in Myanmar to help Dorsey gain an understanding of life on the ground in one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets.

“The Myanmar tech community was all excited, and wondering where he was going,” Jes Kaliebe Petersen, the Phandeeyar CEO, told TechCrunch in an interview. “We wondered: ‘Can we get him in a room, maybe at a public event, and talk about technology in Myanmar or social media, whatever he is happy with?'”

The DMs went unread. In a response to the email, a Twitter staff member told the group that Dorsey was visiting the country strictly on personal time with no plans for business. The Myanmar-based group responded with an offer to set up a remote, phone-based briefing for Twitter’s public policy team with the ultimate goal of getting information to Dorsey and key executives, but that email went unanswered.

When we contacted Twitter, a spokesperson initially pointed us to a tweet from Dorsey in which he said: “I had no conversations with the government or NGOs during my trip.”

However, within two hours of our inquiry, a member of Twitter’s team responded to the group’s email in an effort to restart the conversation and set up a phone meeting in January.

“We’ve been in discussions with the group prior to your outreach,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch in a subsequent email exchange.

That statement is incorrect.

Still, on the bright side, it appears that the group may get an opportunity to brief Twitter on its concerns on social media usage in the country after all.

The micro-blogging service isn’t as well-used in Myanmar as Facebook, which has some 20 million monthly users and is practically the de facto internet, but there have been concerns in Myanmar. For one thing, there was been the development of a somewhat sinister bot army in Myanmar and other parts of Southeast Asia, while it remains a key platform for influencers and thought-leaders.

“[Dorsey is] the head of a social media company and, given the massive issues here in Myanmar, I think it’s irresponsible of him to not address that,” Petersen told TechCrunch.

“Twitter isn’t as widely used as Facebook but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have concerns happening with it,” he added. “As we’d tell Facebook or any large tech company with a prominent presence in Myanmar, it’s important to spend time on the ground like they’d do in any other market where they have a substantial presence.”

The UN has concluded that Facebook plays a “determining” role in accelerating ethnic violence in Myanmar. While Facebook has tried to address the issues, it hasn’t committed to opening an office in the country and it released a key report on the situation on the eve of the U.S. mid-term elections, a strategy that appeared designed to deflect attention from the findings. All of which suggests that it isn’t really serious about Myanmar.

Sheryl Sandberg claims she didn’t know Facebook hired agency behind ‘abhorrent’ anti-Soros campaign

Sheryl Sandberg has denied that she obstructed early investigations into election meddling and claimed that she was unaware Facebook was involved with an agency that ran “abhorrent” anti-Semitic campaigns that targeted George Soros, among others.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, with more than 2.2 billion users, spent Thursday doing its best to fight a media relations forest fire that followed an explosive New York Times article revealing a campaign to smear George Soros, and other revelations.

The company fired PR and research firm Definers, the center of some of the story, it disputed allegations that it tried to hide details around Russian hacking and it held an hour-long call with journalists and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Now Sandberg has joined Zuckerberg and Facebook itself in distancing herself from some of the core claims of the Times report, which paints her in a particularly poor light.

“On a number of issues – including spotting and understanding the Russian interference we saw in the 2016 election – Mark and I have said many times we were too slow,” she wrote in a rebuttal posted to Facebook. “But to suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue.”

Sandberg repeated a common refrain at Facebook: the company wasn’t aware of the scale of the attacks it received until it was too late and it is now committed to “investing heavily” to prevent recurrences.

“While we will always have more work to do, I believe we’ve started to see some of that work pay off, as we saw in the recent US midterms and elections around the world where we have found and taken down further attempts at interference,” she wrote.

But perhaps the most striking part of Sandberg’s post is a brief passage in which she claims that she — Facebook’s chief operating officer — was unaware of the exact scope of Definers’ work for the company, which included disinformation campaigns against Apple, Google and the George Soros-backed Open Society Foundations.

From her post:

I also want to address the issue that has been raised about a PR firm, Definers. We’re no longer working with them but at the time, they were trying to show that some of the activity against us that appeared to be grassroots also had major organizations behind them. I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have. I have great respect for George Soros – and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against him are abhorrent.

Indeed, the claim that Sandberg didn’t even know the agency worked for Facebook flies in the face of the company’s original response, in which it wrote that its “relationship with Definers was well-known by the media.”

According to those statements, the relationship was well-known by the media but unknown to the company COO? OK then.

The New York Times’ allegations are hugely serious, enough to solicit fast and concerned responses from a multitude of politicians and prompt Facebook’s campaign PR machine to splutter into frenzied activity — don’t expect this issue to disappear soon.

Here’s a quick recap of what you need to know so far.

If you didn’t yet do so, go read The New York Times report.

And here’s the response from Sandberg in full:

I want to address some of the claims that have been made in the last 24 hours.

On a number of issues – including spotting and understanding the Russian interference we saw in the 2016 election – Mark and I have said many times we were too slow. But to suggest that we weren’t interested in knowing the truth, or we wanted to hide what we knew, or that we tried to prevent investigations, is simply untrue. The allegations saying I personally stood in the way are also just plain wrong. This was an investigation of a foreign actor trying to interfere in our election. Nothing could be more important to me or to Facebook.

As Mark and I both told Congress, leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia and reported what we found to law enforcement. These were known traditional cyberattacks like hacking and malware. It was not until after the election that we became aware of the widespread misinformation campaigns run by the IRA. Once we were, we began investing heavily in more people and better technology to protect our platform. While we will always have more work to do, I believe we’ve started to see some of that work pay off, as we saw in the recent US midterms and elections around the world where we have found and taken down further attempts at interference.

I also want to address the issue that has been raised about a PR firm, Definers. We’re no longer working with them but at the time, they were trying to show that some of the activity against us that appeared to be grassroots also had major organizations behind them. I did not know we hired them or about the work they were doing, but I should have. I have great respect for George Soros – and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against him are abhorrent.

At Facebook, we are making the investments that we need to stamp out abuse in our system and ensure the good things people love about Facebook can keep happening. It won’t be easy. It will take time and will never be complete. This mission is critical and I am committed to seeing it through.

India’s Meesho, which enables social commerce via WhatsApp, raises $50M

Meesho, a Bangalore-based social commerce startup, has closed a $50 million investment to grow its business in its Indian homeland ahead of future international expansion.

This Series C round means that Meesho, which graduated Y Combinator in 2016, has now raised three funding rounds in the past year. Its $3.4 million Series A came in October 2017 with an $11.5 million Series B closing in June of this year. That’s quite the rollercoaster and over the last year, Meesho has seen its top line revenue grow by over 100X so co-founder and CEO Vidit Aatrey told TechCrunch in an interview.

This time around, the $50 million raise includes new investors Shunwei Capital from China, DST Partners and RPS Ventures, as well as returning backers Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway and Y Combinator.

Meesho has adjusted its focus considerably since it graduated YC, and today it operates as an enabler for people in India wanting to sell products using social media. Primarily the focus is WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging app which counts India as its largest market with over 200 million monthly users.

The company providers sellers with products (which it sources from suppliers) and inventory management and other basic seller tools. In turn, sellers hawk their catalog to friends and family as they please. Meesho handles all payment and logistics, providing a cut of the transaction to sellers.

Interestingly, there’s no fixed price for products. That means that sellers can vary the price and even haggle with their customers just as they’d do in real life.

“We want to simulate the exact experience that happens offline,” Aatrey explained. “Sellers have the liberty to sell to 10 different people at 10 different prices.”

Sales typically happen between friends and family because there is a trusted relationship. Selling consistently to family members doesn’t seem like an easy task, but Meesho operates in a range of verticals, including fashion, living, cosmetics and more, which the company said makes repeat custom easier. The firm is working on technology that helps sellers figure out which products to push to their customer list, but Aatrey believes a good seller has a knack for what their customers will want on a given day or week.

Aatrey — who started Meesho with fellow IIT-Delhi graduate Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015 — told TechCrunch that the startup is picky about who it selects as a seller, and those who are not active enough are removed from the platform — although he said the latter doesn’t happen a lot. Instead, Meesho offers training and skill development programs to sellers who perform well.

“We go and intentionally invest more to scale up the sellers who show more promise,” he explained.

(Left to right) Meesho founders Sanjeev Barnwal and Vidit Aatrey

Meesho says it has registered some two million sellers to date but the goal is to reach 20 million by 2020. A majority 80 percent are female because the startup first targeted housewives, but increasingly, Aatrey said, it is seeing male sellers grow. Nearly one-third of sellers are students and many others use the app part-time to add to an existing income source.

In one example, Aatrey explained that typically households that earn 30,000 INR ($410) per month can make 8,000-10,000 INR in additional capital if one of the homemakers uses Meesho full-time. That’s a pretty significant addition.

One of the more intriguing pieces of the Meshoo business is that by tapping into people’s trusted relationships and offer them incentives to sell products without requiring operating capital, the business has cut a lot of the expensive overheads associated with e-commerce. Customer acquisition cost is low, for example, while there’s no need to dole out discounts, both of which are expensive line items for Amazon India and its rival Flipkart, which is owned by Walmart.

“We don’t burn a lot of money,” Aatrey said, although he declined to provide specific financial information.

With this new money in the bank, Meesho is working to go deeper into its existing areas of business. That’ll include offering more product categories, bringing on more suppliers, extending its supply chain and developing tools to help sellers sell better.

Aatrey also confirmed that the company is also looking to develop a supply chain in China, that’s where Shunwei and its network will come into play. He also revealed that the company is beginning to think about the potential for its own labeled product — an Amazon-style move — although that isn’t likely to happen just yet.

Another longer-term objective is international expansion.

“For the next 12 months we won’t go beyond India,” Aatrey explained. “But what we are doing here is very similar to Southeast Asia, Latin America and even the Middle East so at some point we’ll think about venturing overseas.”

With three funding rounds in the past year, the Meesho CEO revealed that the company is well capitalized but he didn’t rule out the potential to raise money again.

“If we get a good offer that makes sense for the growth of the business, we are open to it,” he said.

Facebook bans Myanmar military accounts for ‘enabling human rights abuses’

Facebook is cracking down on the military leadership in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country where the social network has been identified as a factor contributing to ethnic tension and violence.

The U.S. company said today that it removed accounts belonging to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the military-owned Myawady television network.

In total, the purge has swept up 18 Facebook accounts, 52 Facebook Pages and an Instagram account after the company “found evidence that many of these individuals and organizations committed or enabled serious human rights abuses in the country.”

Some 30 million of Myanmar’s 50 million population is estimated to use Facebook, making it a hugely effective broadcast network. But with wide reach comes the potential with misuse, as has been most evident in the U.S.

But the Facebook effect is also huge far from the U.S. A report from the UN issued in March determined that Facebook had played a “determining role” in Myanmar’s crisis. The situation in the country is so severe that an estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees are thought to have fled to neighboring Bangladesh following a Myanmar government crackdown that began in August. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has labeled the actions as ethnic cleansing.

Facebook’s action today comes a week after an investigative report from Reuters found more than 1,000 posts, comments and images that attacked Rohingya and other Muslim users on the platform.

“During a recent investigation, we discovered that they used seemingly independent news and opinion Pages to covertly push the messages of the Myanmar military. This type of behavior is banned on Facebook because we want people to be able to trust the connections they make,” Facebook said in a statement.

“While we were too slow to act, we’re now making progress – with better technology to identify hate speech, improved reporting tools, and more people to review content,” it added.