TikTok writes to NTA; expresses “surprise” at app ban decision « Khabarhub
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TikTok writes to NTA; expresses “surprise” at app ban decision


16 November 2023  

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KATHMANDU: TikTok, the popular social media platform, has expressed astonishment in a letter addressed to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) regarding the recent decision to ban TikTok in Nepal.

Ferdous Mottakin, the Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for South Asia, conveyed TikTok’s surprise to Purushottam Khanal, the Chairman of the Authority, in the letter.

The decision to ban TikTok in Nepal was made during a cabinet meeting on November 13.

TikTok was informed of the ban through an email from the NTA on the same day.

In response, TikTok formally communicated its surprise at the government’s decision and has requested clarification on the reasons behind the ban.

The letter from TikTok to the authority states, “We are surprised by this decision of the Nepalese government, as are millions of Nepali people, who have created and shared happiness through our platform.”

TikTok emphasized its popularity among people from diverse regions, cultures, and socio-economic levels in Nepal, highlighting its role in sharing information, education, entertainment, and inspiration.

Moreover, TikTok raised concerns about the impact of the ban on the company’s investment plans and the younger generation of Nepali content creators.

The platform has become a significant means of livelihood for many young entrepreneurs in Nepal, and TikTok fears that the abrupt closure could adversely affect their businesses, it said.

In expressing these concerns, TikTok urged the Nepal Telecommunication Authority to provide insights into the actual reasons behind the ban and emphasized the potential repercussions on both the platform and the Nepali community at large.

Noting that user safety is its top priority, TikTok is committed to ensuring its platform remains a safe and welcoming environment.

“Being a global platform, thousands of our employees around the world are working to maintain a safe environment for users,” TikTok stated, emphasizing the implementation of policies and techniques to achieve this goal.

“The platform actively removes content and TikTok accounts that violate established standards,” it said.

In a letter addressed to the NTA, TikTok highlighted several initiatives undertaken for the operation of TikTok in Nepal.

The letter disclosed that TikTok representatives met with the Cyber Crime Control and Cyber Security Committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The letter outlined further measures, stating, “We provided the Nepal government access to the ‘Trust and Safety Enforcement Tool,’ a portal for direct content removal requests as per Nepal’s laws. Furthermore, we registered as a digital service taxpayer.”

TikTok emphasized its commitment by conducting workshops with authorities, CIB, and the Cyber Bureau to familiarize them with its platform.

Access to the ‘Trust and Safety Enforcement Tool’ was recently extended to the Cyber Bureau.

TikTok expressed its dedication to cooperation with the government of Nepal, stating, “All these efforts demonstrate our commitment to collaborating with the government of Nepal. Therefore, the decision to close TikTok contradicts our collaborative spirit.”

The platform urged the government to provide clear information about the specific reasons for the shutdown and reiterated its commitment to working together to ensure user safety.

The letter emphasized ongoing efforts to make TikTok a secure online platform, with substantial investments being made toward this objective.

“We desire to maintain relations with the Nepal government for the safe expansion of TikTok in Nepal. We hope for the opportunity to continue this relationship,” the letter concluded.

“Abruptly shutting down a widely used platform for self-expression goes against freedom of speech. We are committed to addressing any concerns raised by the Government of Nepal and working in a mutually beneficial manner,” it added.

Publish Date : 16 November 2023 21:13 PM

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