Nepal decides to ban TikTok

The decision come within days after the government introducing a new rule requiring social media platforms operating in Nepal to set up offices in the country.


However, when the decision will be brought into force is yet to be ascertained. PHOTO: UNSPLASH/THE KATHMANDU POST

November 14, 2023

KATHMANDU – The government has decided to impose a ban on TikTok.

A Cabinet meeting on Monday took the decision to ban the social media app, citing its negative effects on social harmony. However, when the decision will be brought into force is yet to be ascertained.

Although freedom of expression is a basic right, a large section of society has criticised TikTok for encouraging a tendency of hate speech, the government said. In the past four years, 1,647 cases of cyber crime have been reported on the video sharing app.

The Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, Ministry of Home Affairs, and representatives of TikTok discussed the issue earlier last week. Monday’s decision is expected to be enforced following the completion of technical preparations.

The latest decision has come within days after the government introduced the ‘Directives on the Operation of Social Networking 2023’.

As per the new rule, social media platforms operating in Nepal required to set up their offices in the country.

A Cabinet meeting on Thursday had made it mandatory for social media sites such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and YouTube, among others, to open their liaison offices in Nepal.

The government last week said the measure was introduced in light of an increasing number of people complaining that the absence of the companies’ representatives in Nepal made it difficult for the authorities to address their users’ concerns and even to remove objectionable content from the platforms.

The companies will have to establish either an office or appoint a focal person in Nepal within three months of the enforcement of the directives. Likewise, the companies have to register their social media platforms with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The ministry can shut down the platforms that are not registered in Nepal.

The directives include a 19-point not-to-do list for the users of platforms like Facebook, X, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

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