December 5, 2023
KATHMANDU – Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the ban on social media platform TikTok was not final.
“After hearing the public reaction to the ban, I am now open to the idea of regulating TikTok, just like we are thinking of regulating other social media platforms,” he said. “What we can do is regulate the platform via the directives on the operation of social networking-2023 that the government is in the process of finalising.”
On November 13, the government decided to ban the social media app, citing its negative effects on social harmony.
The decision came within days after the government introduced the ‘Directives on the Operation of Social Networking 2023’.
Although freedom of expression is a basic right, a large section of society has criticised TikTok for encouraging hate speech, the government said. Following the ban, opinions are divided.
As many as 30 organisations working for freedom of speech and expression issued a joint statement immediately after the ban saying that the government decision violates Article 17 (2 a) and Article 19 of the constitution and goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among other laws.
Free speech advocates and even leaders of ruling parties have said the platform should be better regulated rather than banned outright.