Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Ban on TikTok

The government of Nepal has taken a decisive step to impose a ban on the popular social media app, TikTok. The decision was reached during a Cabinet meeting held on Monday. Concerns about the app’s negative impact on social harmony were discussed in this meeting. The government expressed its commitment to tackling the perceived issues associated with TikTok. However, the specific date for the ban to be enforced remains uncertain.

The Arguments

One of the key arguments presented by the government revolves around the notion of freedom of expression. Despite being a fundamental right, the government highlighted that a significant portion of society has criticized TikTok for fostering a culture of hate speech. Over the past four years, the video-sharing platform has seen 1,647 reported cases of cybercrime. This has added weight to the government’s decision.

Prior to the ban announcement, discussions took place between the Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and representatives from TikTok. The decision is expected to be implemented once technical preparations are completed.


TikTok app
The logo of TikTok

Directives Introduced by the Government

This move comes on the heels of the government’s recent introduction of the ‘Directives on the Operation of Social Networking 2023.’ According to these directives, social media platforms operating in Nepal are now required to establish offices within the country. The decision, made during a previous Cabinet meeting, mandates platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and YouTube to open liaison offices in Nepal.

The government’s rationale behind this directive is to address the growing number of complaints from users who found it challenging to have their concerns addressed. This was due to the absence of company representatives in Nepal. Within three months of the enforcement of the directives, these social media companies must establish an office. They can also appoint a focal person in Nepal. Additionally, registration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is mandatory, with non-compliance risking the shutdown of platforms in Nepal.

The directives include a 19-point not-to-do list for users of platforms such as Facebook, X, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. This is done with the intent of regulating social media usage.

Bottom Line

What do you think about this decision to impose a ban on Tiktok? Do you think this ban will prove to be effective? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.   

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