Talking about Tiktok
Baburam Aryal, Advocate,
Digital Freedom Coalition
The Nepal government’s decision to ban TikTok is irresponsible and unlawful. Nepal’s Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and the right to information, both for print and online. So this ban is against the spirit of the Constitution.
Kamal Dev Bhattarai, Editor,
TikTok has good things going on too and one of them is how small entrepreneurs have found success using this platform. This ban has had a damaging impact on these businesses.
TikTok has also provided space to up-and-coming youth who have been ignored by the mainstream media. The platform has allowed them to unlock their talents and they have gained popularity nationally and internationally.
Smriti Shrestha, Founder,
Akarsan Skin and Hair Clinic
Any business requires marketing tools and ours is social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok and Youtube. But unlike other platforms that require you to spend dollars to boost or advertise your business, TikTok doesn’t cost you money. I make content that could go viral and lead to an increase in business without me being required to spend any money.
TikTok has a viral reach like no other. Earlier this year, Gosainkunda was busy like Asan bazaar because clips of the place were going viral on TikTok and trekkers were visiting in droves as a result. So this ban will also hamper the tourism sector.
Read Also: TikTok ban won’t stop Nepali netizens, Saniaa Shah
Tanka Aryal, Chair,
Digital Rights Nepal
The government seems to have taken it as just banning a private company. But it is against the right to information and freedom of speech enshrined by our Constitution. At the same time, people were using TikTok to promote their businesses, the platform has been crucial for the tourism industry and for entrepreneurship.
As such, this is an ad hoc bad with a very weak excuse that TikTok was creating social disharmony. Is TikTok the only one doing so? Even then, as per our Constitution, we cannot shut down any media platform but we can regulate the content given that hate speech, mis- and disinformation are quite prevalent these days. The state can also work on digital literacy instead of taking this easy route which is a regressive step.
The ban therefore is against the prevalent law and Constitution of the land. This is also impractical in today's world where technology is an integral part of everyday life.
Santosh Sigdel, Advocate,
Digital Rights Nepal
The TikTok ban has a direct impact on digital rights. The most important thing when it comes to digital rights is access to the internet, and for most of the Nepalis that was TikTok. And the ban has curtailed their rights.
TikTok is very user-friendly and doesn’t need a whole lot of technical know-how which was why its users were increasing exponentially, in turn leading to a huge reach.
The ban has also directly impacted freedom of speech and the right to information online.
Then there is the right to employment. A lot of small entrepreneurs were using TikTok for their business. Much of their digital content is lost and so is their means of livelihood. In a nutshell, the TikTok ban curtails a whole lot of basic rights.
Chiranjivi Adhikari, General Secretary,
The decision to ban TikTok because of security reasons is not scientific. Expecting privacy from social media sites we consume for free doesn't really make sense, our content on these platforms is at the very least on their servers.
More worryingly, with free DNS and VPN we are seeing a massive increase in TikTok users. Free DNS and VPN are not secure and run malicious codes. If these get installed on our phones and laptops, and especially if we use the same devices for offices, they could destroy the whole network in our workplaces. These devices can also access our banking details and can easily do away with monetary losses for us.
Read Also: Rattled by criticism, Nepal bans TikTok
If we are to ban TikTok we will have to ban the whole of social media. We know that FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have all been misused and more so. As such, the government will have to ban the internet. People also get vulgar, harassing messages on their mobile phones. This means the ban is not the solution. In a democratic society, a remedy shouldn’t be worse than a disease. Any step that the government takes should be based on the Constitution, and not constrict the democratic space like they have done by banning the platform in Nepal.