Pakistan has been in the news for banning Facebook,Youtube and Twitter as pages from Facebook reportedly offended the sensibilities of the Islamic religion.Instead of just banning the access to a page,Pakistan authorities went overboard in banning all of the major Internet websites.Following Pakistan’s Internet WitchHunt,now it is the turn of Bangladesh to ban Facebook for injuring the sentiments of Muslims.The reason for the ban was not very clear with news reports attributing it to sarcastic pictures and comments of Bangladeshi political leaders while others attributed it to offending Islamic religion.
The Internet penetration of relatively illiberal , closed societies like Pakistan,China,Middle East is leading to backlashes from their existing ruling classes.Their hold on the society gets diluted by the liberal influence of the Internet.While China has a very sophisticated control of Internet content , other countries don’t have that level of control leading to such bans.However I think its a “losing war in the long run” as the value and ease of access that the Internet provides will win over any temporary censorship that these countries can impose.
Bangladesh on Saturday temporarily blocked the social network Facebook amid demands by a radical organisation to ban the website for hurting sentiments of Muslims. No official comment was immediately available for the closure of the popular network. However, an official source on condition of anonymity said that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) blocked it on directives from the government.