Somalia’s government reached an agreement to ban the social media sites, TikTok, Telegram and a betting application called 1Xbet.
The Somali National Television Station reported that the move was directed at countering and preventing indecency and extremism propaganda.
The Minister of Communications and Technology, Somalia equally release a statement ordering Internet Service providers to implement the ban by August 24 or face legal action.
“In a bid to accelerate the war and elimination of the terrorists who have shed the blood of the Somali people, the minister of communication and technology instructs companies that provide internet services to suspend TikTok, Telegram, and 1XBet,” read the statement in part.
Additionally, they mentioned that terrorists utilize the said applications to spread immorality through graphic videos and photos that mislead society.
This move comes ahead of a second phase of a military offensive against Al-Shabab. Al-Shabab is an Islamist militant group waging a blood insurgency against the central government in Mogadishu for approximately 15 years.
The Rise of TikTok ban
The banning of various social media platforms has been on the rise in many different countries. TikTok being the platform raising too many questions in regard to the content being posted on the site.
In United States, TikTok faced many bans due to security concerns. As of June 2023, federal employees and state employees in 34 states are prohibited from using the application on government devices.
Montana in May 2023 became the first state to ban TikTok on all personal devices. This move however will only take effect on January 1, 2024, and is being challenged in court.
Subscribe to Switch TV
TikTok Ban Petition in Kenya
In Kenya, for example, petition was filed seeking the ban of TikTok after an exposé was released regarding what happens at night on the app. Moses Wetangula, National Assembly Speaker confirmed his reception of the petition.
According to Wetangula, the petition was filed by the executive officer of the Bidget Connect Consultancy, Bob Ndolo. He said the petitioner decried that the content being shared on the platform is inappropriate and promotes violence, vulgar language, explicit sexual content and hate speech. This according to the petitioner is a threat to the cultural and religious values of the nation.
Kimani Ichung’wah, the majority leader in parliament responded to the petition by seeking a different approach to dealing with the issue. Instead of banning the application, he proposed more rigorous content oversight on the platform.
In addition to that, one of the people enforcing security in the country, (Kenya) lost his position after a video went viral. The officer went live on TikTok and would read unorthodox comments from citizens about the President of Kenya. After the video went viral, the NPS contemplated the officer’s release on the grounds of misrepresenting the institution.
The petition has sparked conversations among Kenyans in both the Parliament and public spheres. Many are trying to find a balance between cultural preservation, technological progress, and the digital landscape’s influence on society.
Due to the surging rate of complaints raised against the TikTok application, should it be banned globally, or should the developers redesign the platform incorporating all the necessary restrictions?