NEW DELHI, Nov 13 The Nepalese government has decided to ban social TikTok network, Communications and Information Technology Minister Rekha Sharma told the media.
““The decision to ban TikTok will be implemented in the near future, but a specific deadline has not been set. Necessary measures in this regard will be taken by the Ministry of Communications,” the Kathmandu Post quotes his statement as saying.
The decision to ban the social network was made at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers “due to the negative impact of TikTok on social harmony,” the minister noted.
As the newspaper notes, the government said that “a significant part of society has criticized TikTok for encouraging hate speech.” Also, 1,647 cases of cybercrime have been reported on the app in the last four years. The issue of banning the app was discussed in consultations with the Nepal Police Cyber Bureau, the Ministry of Home Affairs and TikTok officials last week.
The decision to ban the social network comes a few days after the Nepalese government introduced the “Social Media Directives 2023”, according to which social networks must have their representatives in the country. Companies will have to either open an office or appoint a coordinator in Nepal within three months of the directive coming into force. Social networks must also register their platforms with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The ministry may shut down platforms that are not registered in Nepal.
The government said the measure comes in light of a growing number of people complaining that the absence of company representatives in Nepal is making it difficult for authorities to address the concerns of their users and remove objectionable content from platforms.