- Nepal announced a ban on the popular video-sharing platform TikTok on Monday, alleging the Chinese-owned app was disrupting social harmony in the country.1
- According to Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma, Nepal's cabinet banned TikTok as it was being used to share content that 'disrupts family structures and social relations,'2
- While officials are working on 'closing it technically,' the Nepal Telecom Authority said some internet service providers had already shut it down.3
- TikTok, which has nearly a billion monthly users worldwide, didn't react to the ban immediately. It had earlier termed such a ban 'misguided' and said it was based on 'misconceptions.'4
- Nepal's TikTok ban followed last week's introduction of a new rule requiring social media companies, including Facebook and YouTube, to set up liaison offices in the country.5
- In 2020, India banned TikTok over privacy and security concerns following a military standoff between New Delhi and Beijing in a disputed Himalayan border region.6
- Narrative A, as provided by The New York Times. While Nepal may find itself pulled between India and China, the concern isn’t about misuse of sensitive data but domestic harmony. As the toxic content on TikTok, including sexism and casteism, consistently stokes religious hatred and sexual abuse online and violence offline, the government had to shut it down.
- Narrative B, as provided by Quartz. Instead of regulating TikTok or holding it accountable, the government has abruptly shut it down only to stifle freedom of expression. It shows Nepal's decision is an attack on free speech, not hate speech, as journalists and activists often use TikTok to express dissatisfaction over government policies.