Sunday, January 17, 2021 | ePaper

For our children's sake, ban unethical digital contents

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BANGLADESH has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries for the development and circulation of child sex abuse materials by the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Child pornography has emerged as a new menace as over 5.5 lakh child pornography contents were shared, downloaded, stored, used in cyberbullying and blackmailing in Bangladeshi cyberspace in 2019. A section of netizens of Bangladesh are found addicted to sharing and storing in cyberspace child sexual abuse materials as well as blackmailing and cyber bullying young girls using those contents.
The statistics puts Bangladesh fifth in the vulnerability list only next to India, Pakistan, Algeria and Iraq. Police have traced some child sexual abuse materials which were recorded in Bangladesh and shared in social media platforms. The cybercrime prevention department has detected cartels involved in child pornography and arrested four youths in the last two and a half months. The arrested have been involved luring teenage girls into their trap for getting their sexually provocative materials. Police recovered over 3,000 offensive photos and videos of 45 minors, some sex toys and a manual on how to convince girls to share nude content. Of the girls who have fallen victim to these accused, three are from Bangladesh, while the rest are from the USA, United Kingdom and Australia. Police said some youths develop romantic relations with teenage girls on social media and lure them to share intimate and explicit images and videos and then start blackmailing and harassing the young girls. A 28-year old man was also arrested for demanding 2.5 lakh Indian Rupees to an Indian teenage girl by intimidating to make her image viral.
Cybercrime and child pornography is now a cross-border crime as some youths are even involved in international rackets. A study revealed that 77 per cent of school-going children in Dhaka city are either regularly watching or have watched pornographic materials. Save The Children Bangladesh said that due to effortless digital access and the absence of monitoring, adult and teenagers are getting addicted to child pornography. Family monitoring, vigilance on 'dark web' and accommodating digital literacy in study materials at educational institutions are essential.

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