Nepal has become one of the latest countries to ban TikTok, with authorities in the country claiming the app disrupts "social harmony". (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


Nepal bans TikTok over concerns it disrupts ‘social harmony’


Nepal has banned TikTok, with the government claiming the app disrupts the country’s “social harmony”.

Nepal’s government cites data privacy and the presence of indecent material and so-called “hate speech” on the platform as its reasons.

The decision to ban it “was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials,” says foreign minister Narayan Prakash Saud.

Nepal’s government recently agreed on a list of guidelines for social media firms operating in the country.

These include a requirement for foreign firms to open up domestic offices in Nepal and pay Nepalese tax, says the Kathmandu Post.

India was one of the first countries to ban Tiktok entirely, in 2020.

The United States has repeatedly considered following suit, with Montana opting to ban the platform completely in the state earlier this year.

In the EU, by contrast, only a few member states have implemented partial restrictions on the use of TikTok by government employees. Ireland has banned the app on government devices.

The platform even earned praise from some EU leaders for its apparent enthusiasm to censor public discourse.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently praised TikTok for employing hundreds of French-speaking content moderators.

EU officials have struck a harder line towards Elon Musk’s Twitter platform, now called X. Musk’s aims to combat online censorship differ from the EU’s ones to combat hate speech online.

The European Commission has started preliminary investigations into both TikTok and X over possible breaches of the Digital Services Act, though.

Both big tech sites could face fines worth up to six per cent of their global gross turnover if they are found to have broken the EU act.

The social video app’s owner ByteDance has links to China’s Communist party. China’s governing party has accessed the app’s user data belonging to Hong Kong protesters and civil rights activists, a former ByteDance executive told a California court recently.