Nepal has shut down the social media platform Tik Tok. The country’s government said that they were forced to take this decision to protect social harmony. This information was reported in a Reuters report on Wednesday (November 15).
The country’s minister Rekha Sharma told reporters that this decision was taken in the cabinet meeting. Internet providers have since been asked to quickly block the app.
By last Monday (November 13), the government of the country said that almost the entire Tik Tok has been blocked in Nepal. Government spokesperson Rekha said, ‘Obscene videos and pictures were spreading in the society through TikTok. That’s why this extreme step. However, with this step, extreme criticism has started inside and outside the government.
The government says that while freedom of expression is a fundamental right, a large section of society has criticized TikTok for encouraging hate speech. In the last four years, 1,647 incidents of cybercrime have been reported on video sharing apps.
On the other hand, Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa said that personal freedom is being interfered with. Society cannot be saved like this. Former External Affairs Minister Pradeep Gawali said, ‘Closing an app can never be a solution.’
According to Nepal Daily, representatives of the Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, Ministry of Home Affairs and TikTok discussed the matter early last week and the decision to impose the ban is expected to take effect after the completion of technical preparations.
The latest decision comes days after the government launched ‘Guidelines on the Operation of Social Networking 2023’. According to the new rules, any social media operation in Nepal will have to set up an office here.
In an announcement on Thursday, the country made it mandatory for social media platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and YouTube to open their communications offices here.
Firms have also been given strict instructions to set up an office in Nepal within three months. A focal person should be appointed in the office to liaise with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
Earlier in June 2020, India banned several Chinese apps including TikTok due to security concerns. Before the ban, the app had around 150 million monthly active users in India.
Also, countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Afghanistan, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway have also imposed partial or complete bans on TikTok due to security concerns.