Somalia’s communications minister has announced a ban on TikTok, the messaging app Telegram, and the online-betting website 1XBet as part of efforts to curb the dissemination of indecent content and propaganda.
In a statement issued late on Sunday, Minister Jama Hassan Khalif stated, “Internet companies are directed to cease the use of the aforementioned applications, which are exploited by terrorists and immoral groups to propagate disturbing images and misinformation to the public.”
Notably, members of the insurgent group al Shabaab frequently utilize TikTok and Telegram to share updates regarding their activities.
The decision comes just days after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared a military offensive against al Shabaab with the goal of eradicating the al Qaeda-linked group within the next five months. The directive required internet service providers to comply by August 24.
Potential TikTok Ban in Kenya
In addition, TikTok is also facing potential bans in Kenya. The Kenyan National Assembly is currently reviewing a petition submitted by Bob Ndolo, who urges Members of Parliament to consider outlawing TikTok. Mr. Ndolo argues that the platform poses a threat to Kenya’s fundamental cultural and religious values.
In his submission, the petitioner emphasized the insufficient regulation of the platform in Kenya, attributing it to the proliferation of offensive and inappropriate content on the platform. Mr. Ndolo further emphasized that the ban would serve as a protective measure, safeguarding Kenyans from the negative consequences of TikTok, such as addiction, potential disruption of education, and harm to mental well-being, particularly among students.
He also expressed concerns regarding the possible unauthorized collection or dissemination of personal data of Kenyan citizens by the app.
The petition to ban TikTok has sparked an important conversation, highlighting the delicate equilibrium between preserving culture, embracing technological advancements, and understanding the societal implications of the digital world. As this discussion unfolds, Kenyan stakeholders are faced with the challenge of charting a path that aligns with the nation’s values and aspirations.