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Somalian Government Has Blocked Access To TikTok & Telegram

The Somalian Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology has announced an order for ISPs to block access to TikTok, Telegram and 1xBet.

Somalia Bans TikTok

As reported by voanews.com, the Somalian government has passed an order to the country’s ISP providers to block access to Social Media apps TikTok and Telegram as well as gambling site 1xBet. This move has been made in the interests of security and fighting terrorism and in a statement to ISPs the Minister of Communications, Jama Hassan Khalif stated “You are being ordered to shut down the applications mentioned above by Thursday, August 24, 2023, at 11:30 evening, at the latest, Anyone who does not follow this order will face clear and appropriate legal measures.”.

I have my own problems with TikTok mostly down to its addictive nature and how it appears to severely harm children and adults mentally, but I also support the free internet so banning the app is an extreme move. One of the primary claims surrounding TikTok and Telegram involves the Al-Shabab militant group which regularly uses the platform to share news of attacks. the ban also targets “immoral” content or content that encourages “bad practices” which they claim have harmed the Somali people.

Minister Khalif was quoted as saying in an interview “These sites are misused, they have created security problems, they are used to destroy the security and society, they promote immoral behaviour,”.

A ban on the social media platform would definitely have an effect on these issues, but I imagine there is a better solution than this “knee-jerk” reaction to simply ban the service. On the other hand though, the ban on gambling site 1xBet I can get behind as that provides absolutely nothing for society and Khalif expressed concerns about the untaxed money that flows through the app, most of which is leaving Somalia.

Jakob Aylesbury

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