Government Policy

Bangladesh to sit with Facebook for separate desk

DHAKA, March 17, 2017 (BSS)- Bangladesh is going to sit with the popular social networking site Facebook to insist them for opening a "separate desk" for the country.

"We have a meeting with the Facebook on March 30 in Singapore where we will propose to open a separate desk for Bangladesh," state minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim told reporters at a briefing at her ministry office.

"We will also request the Facebook authority to include a translator in the desk so that they can understand the impact of the substances being posted on the social networking site to the social and cultural value of Bangladesh," she added.

Tarana Halim said they would also request the Facebook to incorporate a "separate clause" into their policy for Bangladesh.

"Facebook has its own policy, but we would request them to incorporate separate clause on the basis of country-wise social and cultural norms and value," she said.

On the other hand, she revealed, Bangladesh would also submit a list of focal points to the Facebook for the conveniences of communication.

"We've sought name of focal points from our different agencies so we could submit our complaints to Facebook in an organized manner," added the state minister.

Posts and Telecommunications division today hosted a meeting with the representatives of different organizations to set an agenda to place before the social networking site for Bangladesh.

The state minister said social networking site is one of the most used medium for spreading radicalism and militancy that is why the issue would be tabled in the meeting.

Replying to a query about verification of the Facebook ID using the national ID, Tarana said the Facebook follows the policy of concerned country to verify the user ID of that country. "We want the social networking site would implement their policy properly."

Mentioning that Facebook's cooperation increased recently, she said they are getting more positive responses from the Facebook than before after filling any complaint.

The state minister disclosed that a total of 64 complaints were filed to the Facebook in 2014 and 2015 and the response rate was 26.47 percent while Bangladesh received 114 responses against 203 complaints in 2015 and 2016 which was 56.16 percent.

In addition, in March of this year, Bangladesh submitted 46 complaints and got response of 36 cases or 79 percent that means "we are getting positive response from the Facebook", she added.

Tarana said they would also request the Facebook to reply immediately for the cases which are under investigation. "Actually, we want to solve any problem through bilateral discussion before it is spreading massively."

She said they would tell the Facebook that Bangladesh is keen to work with any country of the world in the field of militancy and radicalism.

Besides, the posts and telecommunications division also decided to direct the internet service providers (ISPs) to maintain a logbook for six months to curb militancy and radicalism. "If they (ISPs) are failed to maintain it, license would be cancelled," cautioned the state minister.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)