•   Sunday, 23 Jun, 2024

PM Dahal submits written clarification to SC, citing social concerns for TikTok ban

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KATHMANDU, Dec 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has submitted a written clarification to the Supreme Court (SC) on TikTok ban. In the clarification, he has claimed that social diseases and epidemics have spread in the Nepali society through the social network TikTok.

In response to the 16 writ petitions filed at the SC, PM Dahal emphasized that TikTok has led to an increase in technological pollution (digital pollution) within Nepali society, necessitating measures to control its impact.

In the written clarification, PM Dahal stated, “TikTok is observed to have both positive and negative uses, and technological pollution is spreading as a social disease and epidemic. Therefore, with the intention of protecting the interests of the majority of citizens and protecting society and the nation as a whole from its overall negative aspects, it has been decided to ban TikTok.”

PM Dahal argued that TikTok has disrupted social harmony, propagated hatred, demonstrated intolerance, and contributed to the dissemination of explicit content. He said that the ban was necessary due to posts that resulted in rising distortions such as personal feud leading to acts of violence.

The clarification reads, "Since TikTok has created the aforementioned distortions, if it is not stopped immediately, it may lead to a socially dangerous situation in the near future, and the decision made to ban the use of TikTok after analyzing both the current and long-term effects cannot be said to be otherwise."

In a three-page clarification, PM Dahal has requested the court that the writ petitions be dismissed saying that it is the duty of the government, the judiciary and all other bodies to create a dynamic society by maintaining peace, security and non-discrimination in society.

PM Dahal has claimed that due to the increasing use of TikTok, social behaviors are being eroded, and the use of TikTok has had a negative impact on the physical, mental and other overall development of children.

In his written reply, he claimed that Tiktok has disrupted the social harmony in Nepali society and has also increased the challenge of citizens' privacy and national security. In a written reply, he said, "There is a need to ban the use of TikTok due to reasons such as national security, personal privacy, cultural deviation, ease of use, false information, data leakage and cyber security."

Responding to claims that the TikTok ban curtails the right to freedom of thought and expression, as guaranteed by the constitution, PM Dahal argued that restricting activities that disturb communal harmony, abuse public etiquette and morals, is not a hindrance to these constitutional rights.

Prime Minister Dahal has indicated that the immediate decision to ban TikTok is not long-term. He claims that efforts are being made to ensure moderate and careful use of social networks including TikTok.

Prime Minister Dahal claims that since the government has used its vested rights to ban TikTok, saying that it is trying to make a legal arrangement for automatic removal of publication and transmission of illegal content, controlling negative aspects, bringing it under the scope of taxation, the court should not say otherwise.

On November 13, 2023, the government decided to shut down TikTok in Nepal. Soon after the decision, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology Rekha Sharma said that TikTok was banned because of problems in social relations and family relations.

Before the government decided to ban TikTok, it had issued guidelines for operating and regulating social networks. TikTok was banned before the guidelines were fully implemented.

There were 16 writ petitions registered in the SC against the government’s decision to ban TikTok. Although the bench of Justice Binod Sharma refused to issue an interim order, it gave priority to the case and ordered the government to submit a written clarification within December 1. There will be a regular hearing on this case in the SC from December 5.


Source: myRepublica
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