The Nepal government, in a recent development, decided on Monday to prohibit the use of the Chinese-owned social network platform TikTok, citing its adverse impact on social harmony.
Government spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, conveyed that the decision would be executed through the Ministry of Communication and IT. As reported by The Kathmandu Post newspaper, the Cabinet meeting mandated social media platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and YouTube to establish liaison offices in Nepal.
Despite acknowledging freedom of expression as a fundamental right, the government criticized TikTok for fostering hate speech tendencies, citing 1,647 reported cases of cybercrime on the platform over the past four years. Following discussions between the Cyber Bureau of the Nepal Police, Ministry of Home Affairs, and TikTok representatives, the decision is set to be implemented after technical preparations are completed. Sharma emphasized the prompt enforcement of the TikTok ban with a specified deadline, while Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa expressed reservations, advocating for government regulation instead of a ban.
This decision adds to the challenges faced by TikTok globally, as several countries, including India, the US, the European Union, and the UK, have already banned the platform over security concerns.