Cyberbullying in Bangladesh

Cyberbullying indicates harassment on cyberspaces and digital platforms such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Cyberbullying can take place on social media, forums, or games via SMS, email, and applications, or online, where people can access, engage in, or share content. In recent times, cyberbullying has emerged as a dangerous trend in Bangladesh, especially against women and young children, as victims and accused are routinely abused by a segment of netizens in many sensational incidents. Every age group is vulnerable to cyberbullying but young children and women are the main victims of this crime. Some common examples of cyberbullying include threatening or harassing someone by posting unwanted or private information, threatening an individual by sending average messages via emails, social networking sites, text or audio messages, spreading rumors via email or social networking sites, sharing private/embarrassing photos, creating fake profiles, etc. A recent United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund report said that at least 32 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 in Bangladesh are vulnerable to online abuse, cyberbullying, and digital harassment.

 

If anyone faces any kind of online bullying and harassment, he/she can report a file or do GD in the nearest police station by showing Screenshots, screen recording, or pictures. Digital Security Act was issued in 2018. This act was made to ensure digital safety and to use digital mediums in order to detect cybercrime and restrict, demolish and provide justice to it. The most important topics are: 1) Releasing propaganda, representations or assistance about freedom fighters, the spirit of freedom fighters, and the father of the nation will result in 10 years of imprisonment or a charge of Tk 1 crore or equivalent punishment for the criminals. 2) Using a digital medium to spread offensive, false, baseless information and defaming, religiously attacking, hateful, unauthorized data for illegal purposes will result in imprisonment.  In such cases, the imprisonment time period is meant to last from 3 to 7 years. Monetary compensation or equivalent punishment is applicable as well. If the previously stated crimes are repeated, the imprisonment period can be of 10 years as well. 3) Exploiting pictures or taking pictures of a person without his/her conscience and permission and releasing, decrypting, or possessing them may result in 5 years of imprisonment. Internet and child pornography can result in imprisonment of 7 years and monetary compensation of 5 lacs. Other these, the following aspects fall under legalities as well: a)Non-permissible bank transaction b)  illegal electronic scrutiny, to blackmail c) To threaten with personal pictures or information d) To spread false information or rumors e) If there is a transaction with a bank or an insurance company through a digital platform without legal permission, it will lead to 5-years of imprisonment, 5-lakh taka penalty or both. The justice process of the digital security act is held under a special tribunal within 180 working days. If it’s not possible to complete within those days, it could be extended till 90 working days.

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