Writ petition filed to ban TikTok, PUBG, Free Fire

A writ petition has been filed with the High Court (HC) seeking its direction on the government to ban the online games PUBG, and Free Fire; short video sharing apps TikTok, and Likee; and live streaming platform Bigo Live in Bangladesh.

Two lawyers of the Supreme Court-- Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab and Barrister Mohammad Kawsar-- filed the writ with the High Court on Thursday (June 24). 

Secretaries of the Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry, Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), secretaries of the education ministry, law ministry, health ministry and Inspector General of Police (IGP) were made respondents in the writ. 

In the petition, a directive was also sought to set up an expert committee so that they could recommend BTRC to stop online games and their apps that are harmful to children and the youths.

Earlier on June 19, the two lawyers had sent a legal notice to the authorities concerned, seeking a ban on the online games, short video sharing apps and the live streaming platform. They had also said that they would file a writ petition if measures are not taken in this regard within 48 hours after receiving the notice. They said that they have filed the writ as they did not get any response from the authorities concerned. 

In the writ petition, the lawyers said the youths and adolescents of the country are widely being addicted to online multiplayer games like PUBG and Free Fire; and online platforms TikTok, Likee, and Bigo Live that they said alarming for the country.