Politics, Africa

Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram

Communications and Technology Ministry points to adverse effects of platforms on youth

Hodan Mohamed Abdullahi and Andrew Wasike  | 21.08.2023 - Update : 21.08.2023
Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram


Somalia's Ministry of Communications and Technology decided Sunday to ban the use of social media platforms TikTok and Telegram as well as the online betting platform 1XBET.

The ban comes in the wake of a communication, internet and social media security conference organized by the ministry, which led to the directive.

The ministry underlined the importance of the decision, citing the negative impact of the platforms on the lives of Somali youth.

The decision was announced by Communications and Technology Minister Jama Hassan Khalif.

According to the government, the ban on TikTok, Telegram and 1XBet comes in response to growing concerns over their potential negative effects on the younger generation.

Khalif said Somalia has resorted to the controversial ban to ”protect the moral behavior of the Somali community when using communication and internet tools.”

TikTok, a video-sharing platform known for its viral challenges and short-form content, has previously been criticized by several African governments for encouraging trends that may negatively influence impressionable minds.

Telegram, a messaging app often used for private group chats, has also raised security concerns across Africa, as it could be used to facilitate illicit activities.

Meanwhile, 1XBet has raised worries about the potential for gambling addiction among the youth.

Khalif said the three platforms have had a significant impact on the lives of Somali youths.

The easy accessibility of the platforms has led to a surge in their use among the young population, raising concerns about the potential for negative influences and exploitation.

Kenya's National Assembly is currently reviewing a petition seeking a TikTok ban due to insufficient regulation and concerns over explicit content. ​​​​​​​

The petition asserts that TikTok's explicit content undermines Kenya's cultural and religious values by promoting violence, hate speech and vulgarity.

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