(RepublicanPress.org) – Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has taken the world by storm. The social media app is available in over 150 markets around the globe, and it hit one billion daily users by 2022. But TikTok is not without its controversy. Several countries, including the United States, have taken issue with the platform, with some seeking an all-out ban. In March, TikTok executive Shou Chew appeared before lawmakers in Congress to answer questions about the company. Many legislators were concerned about the Chinese government’s ability to access American data. While a limited ban did happen in the US for certain people and circumstances, one country took the step to remove TikTok entirely.
On November 14, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the cabinet he leads chose to ban TikTok. The country’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, said the “continuous dissemination of content” harms Nepal’s “social harmony and family structures.” While the United States and the UK are mainly concerned about China’s alleged access to the app’s information, Nepal takes issue with the cyberbullying, extortion, and inappropriate photos happening on TikTok.
Nepal police spokesman Kuber Kadayat said there have been over 1,600 cybercrime cases over the past four years on the social media app — and those were only the ones reported. When authorities try to contact TikTok for a resolution, the company is slow to respond, leaving victims in limbo, waiting for justice. Not only is Nepal ridding itself of the app, but the government is reportedly keeping a close eye on all social media companies intending to operate in the country. The WSJ stated that Nepal will require them to set up liaison offices to act as intermediaries so if there are any problems, they can be handled without delay. Although media-rights activists in Nepal believe the government is simply trying to silence citizen’s voices, its days are numbered in the country.
But the Asian nation isn’t the first to make moves to ban TikTok. Senegal blocked the app in August, and Somalia was considering a ban as well. While Kenya hasn’t kicked the platform out of the country entirely, it is cracking down on sexually explicit content. In April, the Associated Press posted a list of countries that partially or fully banned the app, including Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the EU, France, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Many of those countries limited the ban to government employee usage.
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