Nepal has joined the growing list of countries banning TikTok. The social media giant owned by Byte Dance currently has over 1 billion active users worldwide. However, its popularity hasn’t stopped it from becoming the target of bans.
According to the New York Times, the decision comes soon after the Nepalese government passed a rule that social media companies need to register with the local government.
The reason to ban TikTok is apparently due to the platform’s refusal to tackle hate-related content. The Nepalese government states that it is helping to fuel unrest and affecting “social harmony.”
The decision is due to concerns over content that is “stoking religious hate, violence and sexual abuse and has led to clashes offline, forcing curfews and the deployment of the police.”
The popular social media app has hit roadblocks in the last couple of years around the world. In the USA, states such as Montana have outright banned TikTok. Government employees in both the Senate and Congress are not allowed to have the app installed on their work-issued devices.
Similarly, European countries have followed suit. Political and government employees in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK are forbidden to have the app installed amid security and espionage fears.
Byte Dance has always denied any interaction with the Chinese government. However, that has not made any impact so far on decisions to remove bans.
I wonder if Nepal is hiding its real reason for banning TikTok under the guise of mental health. I’m not saying it’s a basic human right to watch short form video, although it does raises questions about censorship.