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Is govt going to ban PUBG and Free Fire in Bangladesh?

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Popular Battle Royale games PUBG and Free Fire may face a ban in Bangladesh in the near future. Citing concerns over its addiction among teenagers and young adults, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Home Affairs is working together to recommend the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, BTRC to block the two games in the country.

Mustafa Jabbar, Minister of Post and Telecommunication, however, says that his ministry has not received any directives regarding the ban. “Neither me nor my ministry, are aware of any such developments. Although we have the tools, we cannot block these sites or games on our own. We need to act on recommendations from other concerned government or law enforcement agencies. We did not receive any such recommendations as of yet,” said the minister.

“In today’s world, banning anything is not really a solution. You can always access the banned platforms using VPNs and other methods. In the past, we have provided the ISPs with parental guide tools that allow parents to control their children’s activities on the web. Sadly, we are not seeing considerable use of technology. Banning these games will not change anything dramatically if parents and children are not aware of the dangers they pose,” added the minister while addressing the issue.

Many netizens have taken to Twitter and Facebook to laud the potential ban, while players have expressed concerns over the move.

Recently PUBG was also banned in Nepal and Gujarat of India citing similar reasons. Earlier in October 2019, PUBG went through another brief ban in Bangladesh citing ‘negative psychological effects on the youth’.