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Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram amid global debate on online platforms

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The list of countries prohibiting the use of popular social media platform TikTok continues to expand, with Somalia becoming the latest nation to enforce a ban.

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This decision comes as the Somali government asserts concerns over the misuse of such platforms for spreading propaganda and offensive content, particularly in the wake of an imminent military offensive against the Islamist militant group Al-Shabab.

 

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The Kenyan parliament recently engaged in a comprehensive debate surrounding a petition submitted by Bob Ndolo, which calls for the prohibition of TikTok in Kenya.

This petition has sparked extensive deliberations within Kenya’s legislative and public domains, highlighting the tensions between cultural values and technological advancements.

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Bob Ndolo, in his submission, urged Members of Parliament to consider outlawing TikTok due to its perceived challenge to Kenya’s fundamental cultural and religious principles.

The petitioner expressed concerns about the lack of adequate regulation on the platform within Kenya, attributing it to the proliferation of offensive and inappropriate content.

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Meanwhile, the Somali government’s announcement of the ban on TikTok, Telegram, and the online betting app 1XBET has stirred further debate on the role of such platforms in shaping public discourse.

The ban is presented as a measure to curb the dissemination of extremist propaganda and graphic materials used by “terrorists” to manipulate and mislead society.

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The move precedes a planned military offensive against Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group that has perpetuated an insurgency against the central government for over 15 years.

The Ministry of Communications and Technology in Somalia directed Internet service providers to implement the ban by August 24, threatening unspecified legal action against non-compliance.

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The ministry’s statement cited the need to accelerate the fight against terrorism as a motive behind the ban, signaling concerns over the potential misuse of these platforms for nefarious purposes.

 

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