In a bold move, Nepal has decided to ban the Chinese-owned app TikTok, citing concerns that its content poses a threat to social harmony, marking a decisive step in safeguarding the nation’s digital landscape.
- Recent developments reveal that Nepal, in response to escalating concerns, has officially banned TikTok, emphasizing its content’s negative impact on the country’s social cohesion.
- This decision closely follows the enactment of a new regulation mandating social media companies to establish liaison offices within Nepal, signaling the government’s commitment to assertive oversight.
- TikTok, boasting approximately one billion monthly users, finds itself on the receiving end of a ban, echoing similar actions taken by countries such as India, Montana in the U.S., and the UK Parliament.
- Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, stated to BBC Nepali that the ban is an immediate measure, with directives issued to telecom authorities for swift implementation.
- Sharma elaborated, expressing concerns about the platform’s dissemination of malicious content, reinforcing the urgency of the ban to mitigate potential social repercussions.
- However, Gagan Thapa, a prominent figure in the Nepali Congress and a coalition government member, questions the government’s rationale, viewing the ban as an infringement on freedom of expression. Thapa suggests a focus on platform regulation instead.
- TikTok, globally under scrutiny over data security concerns, faces accusations of potential data sharing with the Chinese government, allegations staunchly denied by its parent company, ByteDance.
- Despite TikTok’s relative lag behind platforms like Facebook and Instagram, its unparalleled growth among the youth demographic remains noteworthy, sparking over 1,600 cybercrime cases in Nepal over the past four years.
- A BBC Media Action report on Nepal’s media usage positions TikTok as the third most utilized platform nationally, dominating the preferences of users aged 16 to 24, reflecting its popularity among the younger demographic.
- Notably, TikTok has encountered temporary bans in Pakistan on multiple occasions since October 2020, while its online shopping service faced closure in Indonesia just last month.
Last modified: November 15, 2023