Nepal bans TikTok for being 'detrimental to society'

Nepal bans TikTok for being 'detrimental to society'
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TikTok has been banned in Nepal over concerns that the platform is causing was "detrimental to social harmony."

The Chinese-owned platform TikTok has been a growing cause for concern for governments, with the US state of Montana banning the app and the UK government banning it from all government-issued devices.

Now Nepal has gone a step further and issued a complete ban on the app in the country, following the likes of several other countries, including India.

The decision was made just days after the country introduced rules that require social media companies to set up liaison offices in Nepal. Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said the ban on the app would be immediate.

He explained: “The government has decided to ban TikTok as it was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials.”

Nepal’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharm, explained that the platform was responsible for spreading malicious content.

She explained to the BBC that “the ban would come into effect immediately and telecom authorities have been directed to implement the decision”.

However, it seems the decision was not a unanimous one, as Gagan Thapa, a senior leader of the Nepali Congress, believes that it is a hit to people’s freedom of expression and, rather than an outright ban, the government should work to regulate the platform instead.

According to the BBC, over the last four years, there have been more than 1,600 TikTok-related cyber crime cases in Nepal and it is the third most used social media platform.

In other countries, data concerns have also fuelled conversations around bans, over worries that the app could be leaking users’ data to the Chinese government. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has previously denied these allegations.

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