Afghanistan’s Taliban to ban TikTok because it ‘promotes violence’

By Alma Fabiani

Published Sep 21, 2022 at 11:45 AM

Reading time: 1 minute

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On Saturday 17 September 2022, Afghanistan’s interim government led by the Taliban announced it plans to completely ban TikTok in the country within a 90 day period, saying the app is “misleading” the youth of today and promotes violence. Oh, the irony…

It’s also been reported that the country will apply the same rule to the free-to-play battle royale video game, PUBG MOBILE. The news first broke after the Taliban-led communication department prepared an announcement for the country’s telecommunication and internet service providers.

This ban was agreed on following a meeting with the representatives of the security sector and a representative from the Sharia law enforcement administration. The Taliban first spoke about their intention to ban the apps back in April claiming that the popular video game “misleads the younger generation” and TikTok “publishes immoral material and programmes.”

At the time, Afghanistan’s deputy spokesman Inamullah Samangani stated on Twitter that TikTok was home to “filthy content” which was “not consistent with Islamic laws.” He added that they received a lot of complaints about people “wasting their time” on the apps.

According to ABP Live, the plan is for the video-sharing app to be banned as soon as within a month, while for PUBG MOBILE, to have it completely erased within three months.

This is not the first time the Taliban government has forbidden citizens from accessing specific platforms since it regained control of the country in 2021. Earlier this year, it blocked the public from more than 23 million websites for displaying what it considers ‘immoral’ content.

Speaking at the same conference where the websites’ ban was first announced, the deputy communications minister in the interim government, Ahmad Masoud Latif Rai, also criticised Facebook for its reluctance to cooperate with the Taliban authorities on content moderation.

Furthermore, in 2021, Afghan women were also banned from most employment—with the Taliban government saying females could only keep their jobs if they were in a role a man cannot fill. Female teachers were dismissed, women were harassed about their clothing and banned from protesting about their rights.

Then, in a poor attempt to prove that they had moved on from their ultraconservative and dictatorship-like views, the Taliban announced a general amnesty and encouraged women to join their government.

Samangani said at the time, “The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims. They should be in government structure according to Sharia law.” And yet, in May 2022, they dissolved Afghanistan’s human rights commission after deeming it as “unnecessary.”

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