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.
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,"
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.
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.
There's a 2% chance the US will ban TikTok before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.