In a recent decision by Somalia’s Ministry of Communications and Technology, the use of social media platforms TikTok and Telegram, as well as the online betting platform 1XBET, has been prohibited.
The ban follows a communication, internet, and social media security conference organized by the ministry, which prompted this directive. Highlighting the significance of the decision, the ministry expressed concerns over the negative impact these platforms have on the lives of Somali youth.
Communications and Technology Minister Jama Hassan Khalif formally announced the ban, stating that it aims to protect the moral behavior of the Somali community when utilizing communication and internet tools.
TikTok, renowned for its viral challenges and short-form content, has faced criticism from several African governments for promoting trends that may negatively influence impressionable minds.
Telegram, a messaging app commonly used for private group chats, has raised security concerns across Africa due to its potential for facilitating illicit activities. Additionally, worries have emerged regarding 1XBet and its potential contribution to gambling addiction among the youth.
Khalif emphasized that these three platforms have had a profound impact on the lives of Somali youths. Their easy accessibility has resulted in a surge in usage among the younger population, raising valid concerns about negative influences and exploitation.
In a related development, Kenya’s National Assembly is currently reviewing a petition urging a TikTok ban. The petition highlights inadequate regulation and concerns over explicit content, arguing that TikTok undermines Kenya’s cultural and religious values by promoting violence, hate speech, and vulgarity. This ongoing debate showcases the growing recognition of the need for responsible regulation of social media platforms across the region.
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