In a decisive move, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has issued a directive to internet and mobile service providers, instructing them to promptly shut down access to the social network, TikTok. The authority emphasized that failure to comply with this directive would result in punitive measures.
This instruction comes in the wake of a decision made by the Council of Ministers on Monday, where it was collectively agreed to ban TikTok due to its perceived adverse effects on social harmony and the broader social environment.
In an official notification released on Tuesday, the NTA underscored the obligation of internet service providers to implement the decision taken by the Council of Ministers. It explicitly stated that adherence to the authority’s instructions is mandatory for service providers, and any deviation from these directives will lead to legal actions, citing Section 47 of the Telecommunications Act, 2053.
The notification stated, “It is the duty of the service provider to comply with the instructions/orders of the authority, and if the service provider does not comply with such instructions/orders, according to section 47 of the Telecommunications Act, 2053, all those concerned have been informed, including the action that may be taken by the authority.”
Despite the issuance of this directive, some service providers continue to allow access to TikTok on their networks. The NTA has explicitly instructed such providers to promptly cease access to TikTok to adhere to the official ban.
This decision reflects a growing trend among nations globally, scrutinizing the impact of social media platforms on societal well-being, with TikTok being a focal point of concern due to its widespread popularity, particularly among the younger demographic. The NTA’s move is aligned with the broader efforts to regulate online content and ensure a positive digital environment in Nepal.