Somalia’s Ministry of Communications and Technology has ordered the country’s internet service providers to turn off access to social media companies TikTok, Telegram, and the gambling site 1xBet.
Minister of Communications and Technology, Jama Hassan Khalif, gave the order in a statement issued Sunday, August 20, citing security and fighting terrorism as reasons for blocking the companies. He also cited an alleged negative impact of the platforms on the lives of Somali youth.
Khalif said Somalia has resorted to the controversial ban to ”protect the moral behavior of the Somali community when using communication and internet tools.”
The statement partly read;
“In a bid to accelerate the war and elimination of the terrorists who have shed the blood of the Somali people, the minister of communication and technology instructs companies that provide internet services to suspend TikTok, Telegram, and 1XBET betting applications, which terrorists and groups responsible for spreading immorality use to spread graphic clips, photos and mislead society.”
The easy accessibility of the platforms has led to a surge in their use among the young population, raising concerns about the potential for negative influences and exploitation.
Kenya’s National Assembly is currently reviewing a petition seeking a TikTok ban due to insufficient regulation and concerns over explicit content.