The government of Nepal has announced that it will prohibit the use of the app TikTok, citing concerns that it disrupts the “social harmony” of the country.
The widespread video-sharing site, which boasts close to as many as one billion active users taht too on a monthly basis, has been subjected to restrictions in a number of nations for suspected violations of data standards and for the possibly negative influence that some content can have on young people.
“The decision to ban was made today, and relevant authorities are currently addressing the technical issues,” Rekha Sharma, the minister for communications and information technology, said on Monday. Sharma is responsible for overseeing the country’s internet and information technology sectors.
Sharma stated that the decision was made because TikTok was frequently used to transmit content that “disturbs social harmony and disrupts family structures and social relations.” This is the reason that the decision was made. She did not elaborate on what had led to the suspension of privileges.
TikTok videos discussing the restriction received thousands of views within hours of the decision being made public on the platform.
Gagan Thapa, the leader of the Nepali Congress party, which is a coalition partner in the current administration and one of the parties in power, stated that the government’s objective seemed to be to “stifle freedom of expression.”
He stated this in a post that he made on X, which was once known as Twitter. “Regulation is necessary to discourage those who abuse social media, but shutting down social media in the name of regulation is completely wrong,” the author of the post added.
This decision was made just a few days after Nepal issued a guideline that required social media providers that operate in the nation to establish offices there.
According to the research conducted by the marketing agency We Are Social, TikTok is currently the sixth most popular social site in the entire world. Because of the potential impact that social media can have on minors, some nations have attempted to tighten their control over the platforms.
ByteDance, the firm that owns TikTok, is Chinese; nonetheless, the corporation disagrees with the claim that it is directly controlled by Beijing. In spite of the fact that it lags behind the likes of Meta’s long-dominant trinity of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, its growth among young people is considerably outpacing that of its competitors.