(LibertySociety.com) – The Federal Parliamentary Republic of Nepal announced on November 13 that the country was banning the Chinese social media app TikTok. Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud made the announcement after a Cabinet meeting, stating that the app was “disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials.”
The ban went into effect immediately. Speculations surrounding the ban were unconfirmed, but some suspect that TikTok may not have been following the country’s social media regulations. Nepal requires companies to register and maintain a local office in the country, in addition to paying taxes and following all laws and regulations. TikTok has been scrutinized for failing to filter out indecent materials, especially pornography. Internet pornography sites are also banned in Nepal.
TikTok has faced scrutiny across the globe for the last several years. United States federal employees and service members are legally forbidden from downloading the app on government-owned phones. Some state governments adopted a ban before the federal government took action. Lawmakers were not happy with TikTok CEO Shou Chew when he testified to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March. Many felt that they left the hearing with more questions than answers after Chew would not admit that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Lawmakers were primarily concerned with national security when questioning Chew about the user data that the app collects. TikTok previously admitted to using geolocation to track an American journalist. Others were concerned about the well-being of children who use the app. Chew attempted to tout a new feature that warns youngsters when they have used the app for too long, but lawmakers pointed out that they could simply dismiss the notification.
The app has also faced scrutiny for aiding illegal migrants with crossing the southern border into the United States. President Biden signaled earlier this year that he would sign a nationwide ban on the app, but Congress has not brought forth any legislation over the matter.
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