Nepal’s TikTok Ban: Balancing Social Harmony and Digital Freedom

“Considering how TikTok is disrupting our social harmony, and the impact it’s having on our family and social structures, the cabinet has decided to ban TikTok for the moment,” Rekha Sharma, Nepal’s minister of communication and information technology, said at a press conference on Monday.

TikTok has been contacted by CNN for a response.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the prime minister of Nepal, defended the choice on Tuesday during a function in Bhaktapur.

All political parties, including the opposition and the ruling party, came to an agreement after much deliberation on how to curb the tendency for discord, chaos, and disorder to spread throughout society, he said.

The nation’s state-run Nepal Television said on Monday that Purushottam Khanal, chair of the Telecommunications Authority, has requested internet service providers to block access to the app.

According to the report, WorldLink Communications, claiming to be the biggest ISP in the nation, has complied with the order, and more providers are anticipated to do the same shortly.

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More than 1,600 Tiktok-related cybercrime cases have been reported in Nepal over the last four years, according to Reuters, citing local media. This has led to a “rising demand” for control over the app.

The ban came into effect after India blocked Tiktok and a number of other well-known Chinese apps over three years ago on the grounds that they constituted a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”

One of  TikTok’s  largest markets at the time was the country, where the app was estimated to have 120 million users.

In a Facebook post, Thapa stated, “Regulation is necessary to deter those abusing social networking sites, but it is totally wrong to shut them down in the name of regulation.” She also stated that the goal of the ban is to reduce the amount of space available for “freedom of expression and personal freedom.”

Authorities are being urged by civil society organizations to reevaluate the ban, which they claim stifles positive online discourse and may have an impact on content creators who depend on the platform for their livelihoods.

Final Thoughts

In a joint statement, local journalists and non-governmental organizations stated that “by completely banning Tiktok, the government’s intention appears to be to block this important platform of communication and

expression” and that the prohibition would “[limit] the opportunities of Nepalese citizens to engage in in the global digital community.”

Join the conversation, share your thoughts, and weigh in on whether Nepal’s ban strikes the right balance between promoting social harmony and preserving digital liberties.

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