Facebook blocked in Bangladesh

Sunday, May 30, 2010

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Bangladesh temporarily blocked the social networking site Facebook on Saturday, after a man was arrested for uploading content onto it deemed offensive. Other users had reportedly posted other kinds of potentially offensive content, including anti-religious and pornographic materials.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Mahbub Alam Rodin, aged 30, in charges of uploading cartoons of some political leaders on the website. Rodin's activity on Facebook was classified as "offensive", said Commander Mohammad Sohail, director of RAB's Legal and Media side, as reported by The Daily Star. RAB asked to block all seven accounts of Rodin in Facebook. Rodin used pseudonyms like "Brigadier Mahadi", "Sepahi Mahadi", "Imam Hossain", "Rodin Al", "Mohammad Al Mahadi" and "Junaida Khandaker Zihan", Sohail said.

No official comment has been made, but Bangladesh's Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) blocked it on the government's request. Private news agency bdnews24 reported that the measure was made on a request by the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion. Users couldn't log onto the website since 6:30 pm local time.

The website is to be unblocked on Monday.