Microsoft, Facebook and Google agree to work with government of Bangladesh to remove “inappropriate content”
The Bangladeshi government has announced that Facebook and Microsoft have agreed to respond to government requests for inappropriate content on their networks within 48 hours.
Google has also agreed to remove the videos from its YouTube branch following government requests.
“After intense discussions with Facebook, Google and Microsoft, it was agreed that they would respond to requests within 48 hours,” State Telecom Minister Tarana Halim said in response to a question from independent MP Rustam Ali Farazi.
The Bangladesh government has already blocked WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and even Facebook for up to 22 days, claiming saboteurs are using these apps to communicate and help them escape the government.
Previously, Facebook had refused to respond to requests for information on 37 users over a two-year period, but in recent months the company has been more open.
Of course, concerns remain that the government would use this new power to quell conversation and political dissent.
The government said a Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response Team (BDCSIRT) has been formed to help reduce the use of abusive language on the Internet.
Earlier this year, the Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested 14 people, including 12 foreign nationals, for committing crimes on various social media platforms in the country.
Microsoft, Facebook and other US tech giants recently signed an agreement with the European Commission to tackle the spread of illegal hate speech online, which also requires them to deal with complaints within 24 hours.