Nepal to bar TikTok, citing social impact concerns

In a move to restore social harmony and goodwill, Nepal announced on Monday its decision to ban TikTok, attributing the action to the “misuse” of the platform and a growing demand for control. 

Local media reports, first reported by Reuters, indicate that over the past four years, Nepal has registered more than 1,600 cybercrime cases related to TikTok. The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, revealed that the decision to ban the app was made during a cabinet meeting on Monday, and efforts are underway to close it technically.

Nepal Telecom Authority Chair Purushottam Khanal stated that internet service providers have been instructed to close TikTok, with some already complying and others expected to follow suit later in the day. 

Opposition leaders within Nepal criticized the ban, expressing concerns about its perceived lack of “effectiveness, maturity, and responsibility.” Former foreign minister and senior Communist Party leader Pradeep Gyawali emphasized the need for regulation rather than outright restrictions, pointing out that unwanted materials exist on various social media platforms.

“There are many unwanted materials in other social media also. What must be done is to regulate and not restrict them,” Gyawali said.

This follows a trend where numerous countries have either partially or completely banned TikTok, often citing security concerns. India, Nepal’s immediate neighbor, banned TikTok and numerous other apps by Chinese developers in June 2020, citing potential threats to national security and integrity. Pakistan has temporarily banned TikTok on at least four occasions since October 2020, citing concerns that the app’s promotion of content is deemed immoral. 

Written by Maya Robertson


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