Somali content creators are shattered after the country announced a ban on TikTok.
The Somali government announced the ban is aimed to reduce false news dissemination and propaganda.
advertisements”The minister of communications orders internet companies to stop the aforementioned applications, which terrorists and immoral groups use to spread constant horrific images and misinformation to the public,” the minister, Jama Hassan Khalif, said in a statement via Telegram, as per Reuters.
The government has given the social media platform until August 24 to comply with its new restrictions.
It comes after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said a military offensive against al Shabaab would attempt to eliminate the al Qaeda-linked group in the next few months.
Al Shabaab often posts their activity via the social media platform and Telegram.
Following the announcement, many Somali influencers were devastated, citing that they rely on TikTok to make a living.
Abdulkadir Ali Mohamed, who calls himself Somalia’s ‘TikTok President’ said: “The ban on TikTok will make the lights of many homes go off.
“Where will we get our daily bread?”
While Halimo Hassan, who sells gold on the platform, said the new restriction would significantly impact his business.
“I urge the government to allow TikTok for the public, but control how it is used in the cultural context of Somalia,” Hassan said, as per Al Jeezra.
Earlier this year, US Congress rolled out a bill that would see a similar ban on the popular video-sharing app.
The bill, led by Senator Mark Warner, would grant the government power to ban foreign technologies and companies threatening national security.
According to the bill, it would also restrict the application of foreign technologies from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
“We need a comprehensive, risk-based approach that proactively tackles sources of potentially dangerous technology before they gain a foothold in America, so we aren’t playing Whac-A-Mole and scrambling to catch up once they’re already ubiquitous,” Mr Warner said, according to The Verge.
However, TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has repeatedly denied ‘aggressive’ data harvesting from its users.
But studies have shown that TikTok stores user information more than any other social media platform.
A recent study conducted by mobile marketing company URL Genius found that the platform can track your activity, even when you’re not using it.
“Consumers are currently unable to see what data is shared with third-party networks, or how their data will be used,” the study added.