The Taliban has banned TikTok and PubG in Afghanistan. The group has also barred Afghan television channels from airing “immoral” content. Taliban spokesperson Inamullah Samangani tweeted the information, saying TikTok is “misleading the younger generation.”
It is the first time the Taliban has banned apps since it came to power. The Taliban came to this conclusion in a cabinet meeting. Less than 30% of Afghanistan’s total population has access to the internet, and these new bans are likely to curtail the Afghan people’s expression further.
Taliban’s TikTok ban
It isn’t the first time a country has decided to ban Chinese social media apps. Last year, India blocked PubG and TikTok, but that was out of privacy and security concerns. Taliban’s TikTok ban is backed by no such concerns.
Inamullah Samangani told Bloomberg that they “received a lot of complaints about how the TikTok app and the PUBG game are wasting people’s time.” A Statcounter chart shows that Afghanistan still has access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit.
However, there have been fluctuations in social media use in Afghanistan ever since the Taliban took command of the state. The bans and curbs are not limited to the internet either. Women’s rights are also in a dire state in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has suspended high school education for girls. Women also require a male family member to travel more than 70 kilometers in a cab. They’re also asked to cover their bodies entirely and have separate days to visit public places like parks.
The group has also forced men in government jobs to grow a beard. However, that is nothing compared to its treatment of women. Coming back to the Taliban TikTok ban, this might be the first step in a series of bans that could come soon.
Taliban’s order to TV channels also vaguely asks them to curtail immoral content. In Taliban terms, it could be anything from western shows and news to discussions on women’s rights.