This article was last updated on November 14, 2023
Nepal bans TikTok: ‘Leads to abuse and hate messages’
Nepal bans social media app TikTok. According to the Nepalese government, the app is harmful to ‘social harmony’ in the country because it causes abuse. The message comes shortly after it was announced that the country will do more to increase control over social media.
In the past four years, 1,600 cases of cybercrime by TikTok have been recorded in the Asian country. According to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the app spreads hate messages.
According to the minister, the ban can take effect immediately. Telecom companies in Nepal have been ordered to implement the decision and make the app inaccessible.
Opposition leaders in Nepal are critical of the measure. They believe that this is not in line with freedom of expression and shows “a lack of maturity and responsibility”.
The Chinese TikTok, which has approximately one billion monthly users worldwide, is also (partly) banned in other countries. Neighboring country India banned the app along with other Chinese apps in 2020. Pakistan also banned the app and Montana is the first US state to ban TikTok. That lawsuit is still ongoing as the app challenged the ban in Montana.
Most countries give the reason that the app leads to safety problems and that young people are misled by it.
Restrictions have also been in force for the app in the Netherlands since this spring. Government officials are no longer allowed to have TikTok on their work phones, because of fears of espionage.
TikTok has not responded to the report that Nepal is banning the app. The company previously said that countries’ views on the app are “based on misconceptions.”