The project, estimated to cost Tk125.39 crore, will be implemented by the government and then run by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) under Bangladesh Police Headquarters
The government has approved a project to monitor social media platforms, to prevent the spreading of “false and provocative information.”
The project, titled “Social Media Monitoring,” was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) held on Sunday, November 4.
The project, estimated to cost Tk125.39 crore, will be implemented by the government and then run by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) under Bangladesh Police Headquarters, reports Bangla Tribune.
The meeting – the last one before the election – also approved seven other projects.
There have been claims that the government has rushed to approve several projects before the election.
However, a source at the Police Headquarters said these projects had not been expedited because of the election – they had been approved by the government because they were necessary and timely.
“We all know how social media platforms have been used to spread propaganda in the past. This project will help to filter and block objectionable, harmful and illegal content on social media,” the source said.
The main aim of the project is to identify and bring to book those who spread anti-state propaganda, rumours and false information to confuse and instigate people into violence, the source further added.
Commader Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of RAB’s Public Relations Branch, told the Dhaka Tribune: “The government has approved this project to ensure cybersecurity at all times – not just for the election. Social media has been used to spread false information in the past - it will happen in the future too.”
He further said the details of why the project has been approved were all mentioned in its document.
The social media monitoring project is set to be implemented by April 2019.
Ecnec also approved a project to construct a police centre to prevent terrorism and international crimes, which will be built at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka by 2022, at a cost of Tk354.16 crore.
Other projects include upgrading the logistical support of police force at a cost of Tk649.88 crore, to be implemented by 2020, and a housing project for Dhaka Metropolitan Police at a cost of Tk975.56 crore, to be implemented by June 2021.