Facebook services restricted in Bangladesh amid anti-Modi protests

NetBlocks metrics confirm the disruption of Facebook and Facebook Messenger in Bangladesh from the evening of Friday 26 March 2021 up until Monday evening amid protests over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka. Network data show that Facebook and Messenger servers as well as link sharing service Bitly restricted on leading networks, corroborating user reports of difficulty accessing the services.

Access to Facebook platforms was restored as of Monday evening with a recorded core incident duration of approximately three days, while Bitly remains unavailable at the latest update preventing some social media links from working.

Online restrictions leaving the services unusable for many came into place amid violent clashes between security forces and protesters who accuse Modi’s Hindu nationalist party intolerance. Modi’s tour comes to mark Bangladesh’s 50th year of independence.

Note: KS Network and Banglalink were represented together in the original publication of this report but are in fact two distinct providers each impacted by the restrictions.

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Methodology

Internet performance and service reachability are determined via NetBlocks web probe privacy-preserving analytics. Each measurement consists of latency round trip time, outage type and autonomous system number aggregated in real-time to assess service availability and latency in a given country. Network providers and locations are enumerated as vantage point pairs. The root cause of a service outage may be additionally corroborated by means of traffic analysis and manual testing as detailed in the report.


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