Bangladesh blocks Facebook over caricatures

Bangladesh has blocked the Facebook social networking site following in the footsteps of Pakistan.


Reuters May 30, 2010



Bangladesh has blocked the Facebook social networking site because of "objectionable" materials it contained about the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the country's political leaders, a telecoms regulatory official said on Sunday.

The government move followed publication of caricatures deemed hurtful to the religious sentiments of the country, the official said. He said the ban, imposed late on Saturday, was expected to be temporary. Facebook was barred last week by a court in Pakistan, also overwhelmingly Muslim, because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The video sharing website YouTube was blocked for a time. Publications of similar cartoons in Danish newspapers in 2005 sparked violent protests in Muslim countries. Around 50 people were killed in 2006 demonstrations over the cartoons. Hundreds of protesters marched through Dhaka on Friday demanding action against Facebook.

The elite security force Rapid Action Battalion on Saturday arrested a man in Dhaka for posting "obnoxious" images of the country's political leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia. He is being questioned by police, officials said. The blocking of Facebook, popular among Bangladeshis, especially young people, triggered protests by users.

"This was a wrong decision and should be withdrawn immediately," Mohammad Zafar Iqbal, professor of Computer Science at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, told a television interviewer. "Instead of freezing the whole system, efforts should be made to find and punish the guilty."

COMMENTS (6)

Fear the Monkey | 11 years ago | Reply I sincerely believe we should block all the Internet for all the objectionable material that is there. In fact, all encyclopaedias should also be banned because they contain lewd graphic depictions of the female form, amongst other heretical discourse. While we're at it, we should ban newspapers for spreading anti-islamic, pro-western propaganda. Surely this is the only way we can prevent ourselves from being the laughing stock of the world at large, and show our conviction in supporting knowledge over ignorance.
Mudassir Hussain | 11 years ago | Reply I am still of the view that Government of Pakistan did the right thing by banning FACEBOOK access. We need to open our minds and reconsider the "reason" why Government took this step. This is the one right way of showing our disgust towards West's hypocrisy, where freedom of expression does not allow to talk about Holocaust "freely"!! Though I also share this view that this ban should be temporary. On a lighter side it is heartening to see Face book's popularity amongst animals like monkeys...!!
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read