facebook blocked

Ban follows arrest of man over ‘cartoon’ of Hasina, Khaleda; members of popular social network angrily react to govt decision
Regulators yesterday “temporarily” blocked access to Facebook, a popular social networking site.
The decision came after the arrest of a youth for uploading satiric images of some politicians, including the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.
The government did not make any official statement yet, but sources in Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said part of the reason is the posting of some anti-religious and porn links by users across the globe.
“We have blocked all access to Facebook temporarily,” said a high official of BTRC. “It was done in line with a decision of government high-ups.”
In a late-night development, a group of Dhaka University students took to the streets to protest the government’s decision.
In instant reactions to The Daily Star yesterday evening, IT experts criticised the government for the move.
Many Facebookers called The Daily Star yesterday, enquiring about why they could not log on to the site. They dubbed the move radical and said the government should have blocked individual profiles rather than the entire site.
Earlier, the BTRC had directed internet data service handlers Mango Telecom and Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd to find a way to block antisocial contents posted by Facebookers.
But the two companies failed to fix the problem, which prompted the government to block the entire prophet, said the official, asking not to be named.
The BTRC official said some users had posted anti-Islamic content about Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (SM), which the government took seriously. Some users have posted sub-links to pornographic materials, which are not “tolerable”, the official said.
“The access to Facebook will resume when the operators find a way to block such anti-social contents,” said the official.
Three Islamic political parties — Islami Oikya Jote, Islami Andolan and Khelafat Andolan — on Friday demanded an immediate ban on Facebook for a recent campaign by some users inviting people to draw images of the prophet.
In March last year, the government blocked the video sharing website YouTube for hosting a recorded conversation between the prime minister and army officers after the BDR carnage.
More than 10 lakh people use the internet in Bangladesh. Facebook is the most popular social network, especially among the youth.
Pakistan has recently banned Facebook for hosting blasphemous contents. A contest organised by a Facebook user calling on people to draw the prophet raised protests in Pakistan.
RAB ARRESTS YOUTH
Rab yesterday arrested Mahbub Alam Rodin, 30, a resident of Wari in the capital on charges of uploading satiric images of some political leaders on Facebook.
Commander Mohammad Sohail, director of Rab’s legal and media wing, said Rodin’s Facebook activity over the last one year was offensive.
Rab quoted Rodin as saying he uploaded obscene images and did this as his pastime.
Rab has so far blocked seven Facebook accounts of Rodin, which he opened with email addresses and fake particulars, the Rab official said.
Rodin also used several pseudonyms: Brigadier Mahadi, Sepahi Mahadi, Imam Hossain, Rodin Al, Mohammad Al Mahadi and Junaida Khandaker Zihan, according to the official.
Sohail said Rodin, jobless, did not continue studies after college. According to the official, during interrogation, Rodin said he possesses two passports.
REACTION
Educationist Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury said the blocking of Facebook is by no means beneficial. “Information should be free flowing. When that is hampered, people would only find more interest in finding ways to bypass it.”
Talking about the offensive contents on Facebook, he said, “These [activities] cannot be stopped by blocking Facebook. Many more websites need to be banned as well.”
IT expert Mustafa Jabbar said the internet has become an uncontrollable medium but blocking the entire site is no solution to the problem.
“I don’t support it. Restricting us from being in touch with the world is like making us live like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand,” he said.
“It is not a good move. A better step would be to take legal action against individual offenders.”
Jabbar said the government did it because someone posted cartoons of the VIPs. “But many people including girls are being abused in Facebook every day. Would they have done the same for them or me? You cannot block an entire population for some wrongs done by one or two individuals.”
He stressed stronger and all-inclusive cyber-crime laws so that people can go to law enforcers when they are being harassed on the internet, not just on Facebook.
Monjur Morshed Khan, a university student and Facebook user, said: “Blocking the entire site is too much.”
Nazibuddin Ahmed, a father of three from Malibagh Chowdhurypara, said: “I’m not a fan of social networking sites, but I think this is a very stupid decision following demands from Islamic parties.”

Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Tea garden workers begin strike for wage hike

Zaman Monir Bangladesh Cha Shramik Union, an organisation of tea garden workers, went on a countrywide strike from Saturday for an indefinite period demanding a hike in their daily wages. Leaders and activists of the organisation’s Sylhet and Chattogram divisional units expressed their solidarity on Friday night with the organisation’s Moulvibazar unit that the daily ... Read more

Over 14,000 children die of drowning in Bangladesh annually: WHO, UNICEF

News Desk : dhakamirror.com In Bangladesh, more than 14,000 children drown each year, according to a joint media release from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Over 14,000 children in Bangladesh die from drowning each year, making it the second largest cause of mortality for children under the age of five in the country. The ... Read more

HC bans rooftop train journey

Action against rail officials if passengers travel on train roof News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Railway authorities were criticized by the High Court on Thursday (July 21, 2022) for poor administration of the railway services, including ticket scalping, and it was noted that no passenger is allowed to ride on the train roof. “If ... Read more

Nation celebrating Eid-ul-Azha

Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, is being celebrated across Bangladesh on Sunday with due solemnity, a sense of sacrifice and religious fervour amid the Covid outbreak for the second consecutive year.The celebrations began with Eid congregations all over the country followed by the sacrifice of cattle head in the name ... Read more

No motorcycle registration without driver’s license

News Desk : dhakamirror.com On Tuesday, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority said that starting on September 15, no registration number will be assigned to any motorcycle if the driver lacked a valid driving license.The order, issued by the authority, was given to inform people about it, said the BRTA director (engineering) Sitangshu Shekhar Biwas.Currently, the ... Read more

PM Hasina inaugurates Padma Bridge

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Padma Multipurpose Bridge on Saturday. The prime minister unveiled the inauguration plaque of the much-anticipated 6.15 kilometre Padma Bridge for vehicular movement at 11:58am at Mawa end. Speaking at the auspicious moment of inaugurating the bridge, an emotion-choked prime minister remembered Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the family members ... Read more

Physical work of Bangladesh’s First underground metro rail to begin in Sept

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Physical work on Bangladesh’s first underground metro rail, formerly known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1, or MRT-1, will start within September this year. MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, revealed the information at a press conference at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in Dhaka, on Wednesday. He said ... Read more

SSC, equivalent exams postponed due to worsening flood situation

The government on Friday postponed this year’s Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations, scheduled to begin on June 19, due to the worsening flood situation. A press release, issued by the education ministry on the day, said that due to worsening flood situation SSC general, SSC vocational and Dakhil examinations under all boards are being ... Read more

Army deployed to manage heavy flooding in Sylhet: ISPR

Members of Bangladesh Army have been deployed to manage the heavy flooding and its aftermath in Sylhet district. The deployment comes following a request from the civil administration, according to the ISPR. Talking to our Sylhet correspondent, Mujibur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said members of Bangladesh Army will rescue marooned people using boats. The ... Read more

Spectacular arrangements surrounding the opening of Padma Bridge

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Last minute preparations are underway in the bridge area. The Padma Bridge is going to be opened on 25 June. The inauguration of the Padma Bridge on June 25 will be celebrated in a manner that will truly let the general public be a part of the achievement – Bangladesh’s first independently ... Read more

How much will it cost to cross the Padma, the government fixed

By Dhaka Mirror : dhakamirror.com The government has fixed the toll of the under-construction Padma bridge, which is at least 1.5 times higher than the average toll paid on ferries plying the Padma. The bridge division under Road Transport and Bridges Ministry on Tuesday issued a notification fixing different toll rates for different transports. As ... Read more

Eid-ul-Fitr being celebrated across Bangladesh

Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of Muslims, is being celebrated today (May 3, 2022) across the country. This is the first Eid celebration without Covid-19 pandemic related restrictions. Eid jamaat (congregations) were held under public and private initiatives across the country, including in Dhaka. The country’s main Eid jamaat in Dhaka was held at the ... Read more

Shawwal moon not sighted, Bangladesh to celebrate Eid on May 3

By Dhaka Mirror : dhakamirror.com Holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of Muslims, will be celebrated in the country Tuesday as the Shawwal moon was not sighted in Bangladesh this evening. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Moon Sighting Committee this evening after Maghrib prayers. Mohammad Faridul Haque Khan, state minister ... Read more

Padma Bridge will open to traffic by 2022 end: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the parliament that work is going on in full swing to open Padma Bridge to traffic by the end of this year. The premier said this while replying to a query from Awami League MP Shahiduzzaman Sarker. Earlier on several occasions, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader ... Read more

Nation observing Independence Day

BSS, Dhaka The nation is celebrating the 52nd Independence and National Day today in a befitting manner. The government has taken elaborate programmes marking the Independence and National Day. President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen living both home and abroad ... Read more

Full-scale in-person classes in schools, colleges from March 15

Education minister Dipu Moni on Saturday said that full-scale in-person classes at secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions across Bangladesh would begin from March 15. From then in-person classes would be held on all subjects at the educational institutions like the pre-pandemic stage, she said in an inauguration programme at Tikatuli area in Dhaka ... Read more

SSC exams likely to start on June 19, HSC on August 22

This year’s Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations are scheduled to start on June 19 and Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations are scheduled to start on August 22. In two urgent releases the Dhaka Education Board published these ‘probable’ dates in its website. The releases were published on Monday. One if the urgent releases ... Read more

Amar Ekushey being observed across Bangladesh

The Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day is being observed across Bangladesh on Monday through paying rich tribute to the memory of the Language Movement martyrs and renewing the call for the proper use of Bangla in all spheres of life. Streams of barefooted people from all walks of life filed past the ... Read more

HSC, equivalent exams’ results published with 95.26pc pass rate

The results of the Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations of 2021 were published on Sunday with a pass rate of 95.26 per cent. The number of students securing GPA 5 is 1,89,169. The results were officially announced by the prime minister Sheikh Hasina virtually from the Ganabhaban while later in a press briefing the ... Read more

Bangladesh announces closure of educational institutions till Feb 6

Bangladesh government on Friday announced closure of educational institutions for the next two weeks from today till February 6 amid a surge in Covid-19 transmission across the country. The cabinet division, in a circular uploaded in its website, also gave five more directives in the backdrop of a spike in Covid cases across Bangladesh. The ... Read more