Recently the popular video sharing platforms Tiktok and Bigo have been blocked by Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for being a source of obscene videos. This is followed by the blocking of another social media platform Reddit for being a source of pornographic search engine.
In November of last year, Bangladesh’s High Court asked the government to block pornographic websites and publication of obscene materials. Following this rule from the High Court, BTRC started a ‘Safe Browsing’ Campaign. According to a Facebook post by Telecommunications and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar, the campaign is created for providing a safer space on the internet, a space free of ‘indecent content’ for the young people who were being exposed to adult and gambling sites; he also mentioned this will be a continuous ‘war’ in an interview.
Since February more than 7400 pornographic websites and around 2200 gambling sites have been closed at the direction of the Ministry. Most of the blocked sites are foreign, but even some local sites faced action under this crackdown.
ICT Minister said – We are monitoring the local Facebook profiles, YouTube channels – and added that few websites have been advised not to post anything that goes against social norms. We see examples of this comment from past few days – recently model Sanai Mahbub earned a reprimand from authorities for posting ‘vulgar’ Facebook images; she was asked to remove these images and was made to promise she will not continue to do so. YouTuber Salman Muqtadir was also warned by the Police through a summoning and his videos from Youtube were blocked in Bangladesh.
As stated by the ICT Minister this is going to be a continuous process; we will keep covering this story and will notify you as soon as we get more information in the coming days.