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Nepal Bans TikTok and Says It Disrupts Social Harmony

Nepal's government decided to ban the popular social media app TikTok on November 13, saying it was disrupting "social harmony" in the country. The announcement was made following a Cabinet meeting. Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said the app would be banned immediately. "The government has decided to ban TikTok as it was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and [causing a] flow of indecent materials," Saud said. He said that to make social media platforms accountable, the government has asked the companies to register and open a liaison office in Nepal, pay taxes and follow the country's laws and regulations. It wasn't clear what caused the ban or if TikTok had refused to comply with Nepal's requests. The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Gagan Thapa, a leader of the Nepali Congress party, which is part of the coalition government, has criticized the TikTok ban and said that the government is trying to "stifle freedom of expression." Writing on X, previously known as Twitter, he said, "Regulation is necessary to discourage those who abuse social media, but shutting down social media in the name of regulation is completely wrong." TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, has faced scrutiny in a number of countries because of concerns that Beijing could use the app to harvest user data or advance its interests. The popular video-sharing app has around a billion monthly users, but Nepal isn't the first country to ban it. Other countries, including India have also banned the app, and the US state of Montana banned it earlier this year. Some countries including the United States, Britain and New Zealand have banned the app on government phones. However, TikTok has repeatedly denied that it has ever shared data with the Chinese government and says it would not do so if asked. Nepal previously banned all pornographic sites in 2018.



Questions

1.

Do you use TikTok? If so, when did you start using it? If not, why not?

2. How concerned are you about your data on social media?

3. Do you think there should be more regulation of social media platforms?

4. Have you thought about deleting any of your social media accounts?

5. The only valid censorship ... is the right of people not to listen. — Tom Smothers. What are your thoughts on this statement?





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