Bangladesh Government has blocked More than 5 top messaging and calling apps like Viber, Whatsapp, Tango, Line, Mypeople etc. But why the government has taken this decision in this digital age? Are there other options?
The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has set a condemnable example by blocking the free communication technology of Viber, Tango and similar apps, without any prior warning whatsoever. This official blockade of person-to-person communication has been extended twice till 21 January. Lets measure is it iolation of fundamental human rights?
Viber was shut down in Bangladesh from six in the morning on Saturday till Sunday, a minute before midnight. This block has now been extended till 21 January. This step has purportedly been taken in the interests of security, but it has affected innumerable persons whose family members are abroad. This app has made communication within the country and with persons outside of the country, very easy. The people are now suffering due to the government`s decision to block this mode of communication.
There is no example in any civilised democratic country of the government blocking communications simply by executive order, with no explanation at all. Previously Facebook had also been shut down in the country, which has occurred in undemocratic countries like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance has almost paralysed people`s movements through the blockade programme, and the government`s counter action amounts to harassment of the innocent members of the public.
Has the closure of Viber and Tango stopped petrol bomb explosions?
Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal state minister told the media, social networking sites would be reopened after the installation of a device for identifying the users of the services on the Internet.The government`s step is reportedly aimed at increasing intelligence surveillance on the opposition leaders and workers, who in recent times communicated between them using sites like Viber to avoid tracing their communications by the government people.
What can be the effect of banning these apps?
1. Ban of social media has great impact on the image of a Country. As Turkey continues to discuss the side-effects of a recently introduced ban on Twitter and YouTube and the possibility of the government extending the social media ban to Facebook, this has raised concerns that such a move will tarnish Turkey`s appeal to foreign investors and visitors, observers argue. The Tourism industry must be in Online and Social Media.
2. Blocking access to social media sites may ultimately prove more distracting and potentially more dangerous to people.
3. People will find ways to socialize and share during the blockade however, others app are available in the internet world.
4. Restricting access to information is fighting the force of a global movement towards greater participation.
IF Social Media ban by Government
Being a dictator used to be so much simpler: Unruly journalists were few, and easily identifiable; editors could be intimidated or bribed; and newspapers could be physically obstructed from dissemination. These days, if a political faction really wants to control information, they`ll have to take North Korea’s strategy, and wall themselves off from the world, causing widespread poverty and stunting innovation.
Countries such as China and Iran, with similar levels of authoritarianism, but relatively more open economic markets, are having considerable trouble banning social media. Though popular social media sites are restricted in China, one report estimates that 92% of Chinese netizens are social media users, and that cracking the government’s firewall is not uncommon. Additionally, the government has faced widespread public embarrassment over ongoing tensions with Google.
Iran has faced its own unique set of problems. In response to what was perceived as the illegitimate re-election of hard-line nationalist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country erupted in violent protests. Citizen journalists posting on Twitter and YouTube became some of the only reliable sources of information to leak from the government-imposed media blackout. One year later, Ahmadinejad is still in power, but experts agree that the once solid status of the presidential incumbent and the reigning religious council has been seriously undermined.
Venezuela is the most recent regime to take on social media, and it remains to be seen how this will affect the country’s wobbly support of Hugo Chavez. If Iran and China are any indication, it will not be smooth sailing.
Whatever the organizational reaction to social media is, the human response to restriction is universal: Forbidden fruit looks so much tastier.
The Others Useful Apps
2. Google Hangout
3. facebook Messenger
4. KakaoTalk Messenger
5. Live Profile
6. Group me
7. Kik Messenger
8. Chat ON
9. We Chat