While initially massively loved worldwide, the social media app TikTok started facing increased scrutiny from multiple nations. This came to a head when countries like India officially banned the app along with a few Chinese counterparts back in 2020. However, the damage hasn’t stopped, as it is now confirmed that Nepal has banned TikTok for reasons we will discuss below.
On November 13th, Nepal officially decided to ban TikTok in a cabinet meeting held with several government executives. Initially reported by the NYT, the news comes out of a report that mentions TikTok is affecting “social harmony” with its refusal to curb hateful content. This is connected to a recent rule the country introduced that requires social media companies to open a liaison office in Nepal.
Nepal’s Minister for Communications & Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, spoke to various media fraternities about the situation. Speaking to BBC Nepali, Sharma said that “the platform spread malicious content.”
According to local media reports, there have been 1600+ TikTok-related cybercrime cases registered in the country. The minister said, “The ban would come into effect immediately, and telecom authorities have been directed to implement the decision.” The Telecom Authority Chief of Nepal, Purushottam Khanal, confirmed to Reuters that “Some have already closed while others are doing it later today“.
TikTok’s earlier response to the banning situation (which has been a trend around the world) was that these bans are “misguided” and based on “misconceptions”. Moreover, a senior leader from the Nepali Congress known as Gagan Thapa has criticized the government’s decision. He stated that this is an attempt to curb the freedom of speech.
Despite this, the scrutiny on TikTok seems to never end. The app is banned in several places – Belgium, Canada, Taiwan, and certain states of the US have completely banned the usage of the China-based social media app on government devices. Pakistan has banned TikTok multiple times, only unbanning it after receiving assurance that it would control the amount of ‘immoral/indecent content’ on the platform.
No matter what, it is still the original platform that popularized short-form video content. In fact, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are both known to have come out later. These newer platforms essentially capitalized on the rising popularity of TikTok-style short video content.
Do you think TikTok poses security risks and shouldn’t be used? Let us know your thoughts on Nepal banning TikTok in the comments below!