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Asia Internet Symposium, Dhaka 2015


Responsible Use of Social Media - The Bangladesh Case

Symposium Details


The Internet and social media sites can be a very powerful tool to engage the community and to celebrate freedom of speech in a positive way - however these can also be open to misuse and abuse.In recent years, Internet use in Bangladesh has jumped exponentially, and according to figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, subscribers now stand at nearly 51 million – of these,49.2 million are using the mobile Internet. A similar growth pattern is observed in the use of social media. For example, with a current user base of around 3.3 million, Facebook is now adding a new user in Bangladesh every 20 seconds. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are rated as other popular social media channels in the country. Another dimension of online media that has given the country’s Internet users a distinct character are the Bangla blog sites. Analysis from a local study reveals that in Bangladesh, “blogging” is largely around community related issues rather than personal issues - bloggers actively express their opinions on contemporary socio-political issues.

However, abuse over social media is also on the rise in the country. A number of incidents show fake account holders sending trolls, uploading objectionable pictures and videos, and even posting hate messages. Women and girls are more often than not the major victims of such harassment over social media. The Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response Team (BD-CSIRT) is said to have received around 2,000 such complaints over the last 18 months. Parents are now questioning the safe use of social media and how to prevent their children from cyberbullying and other online harassment. Similarly, employers are concerned about social media norms and the impact on work productivity of their employees.

The Internet Society's (ISOC) Asia Internet Symposium Dhaka will bring together Government, Businesses, Civil Society and Social Media Activists to deliberate on issues related to responsible use of social media.

The following dimensions will be addressed:

  • What should we be most concerned with when it comes to mistreatment of social media in Bangladesh?
  • Are we doing enough to emphasize to our younger generation that using social media comes with a great responsibility?
  • - How do we balance freedom of expression with spreading false information and abuse through social media channels?
  • How do we educate the end-user, and what are some useful approaches to doing this?

Participants / Invitees

  • Public Institutes
  • Representatives from Mobile Operators / Internet Industry
  • Representatives from Academia
  • Social Media Activists
  • Civil Society Organizations
  • Media




15:00 - 15:30


15:30 - 15:45

Welcome and Symposium highlights, ISOC Bangladesh Dhaka

15:45 - 16:00

Key Note by Prof. Dr. Nasreen Ahmad, Pro-vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka


16:00 - 16:15

Opening Remarks by Naveed Haq, ISOC Regional Bureau

16:15 - 16:30

Hasan Benaul, Communication Expert, Access to Information (A2i) program, Prime Minister Office 

16:30 - 16:45

Sumon Ahmed Sabbir, Chief Strategy Officer, Fiber@Home

16:45 - 17.15

Coffee / Networking Break

17:15 - 19.00

Moderated Panel Discussion:

Sumon Ahmed Sabbir (Moderator)

Professor. Dr. Rokon Zaman, North South University

Hasan Benaul Islam, Communication Expert, Access to Information (A2i) Program, Prime Minister Office

Md. Emdadul Hoque, Secretary General, Internet Service Provider Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) 

Professor Lutfor Rahman, Daffodil International University 

Ms. Sabila Enun, Senior Sector Specialist, BRAC Education Programme & Communication Specialist, DCASTALIA

19.00 - 19.30

Q&A with Note of Thanks followed by Dinner