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Somalia bans TikTok, Telegram and 1XBet over ‘horrific’ content, misinformation

MOGADISHU, (Reuters) – Somalia has banned TikTok, messaging app Telegram and online-betting website 1XBet to limit the spread of indecent content and propaganda, its communications minister said.

“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 late on Sunday.

Residents gather outside the Pearl Beach Restaurant following an attack by Al Shabaab militants at the Liido beach in Mogadishu, Somalia June 10, 2023. REUTERS/Feisal Omar/File 

Members of insurgent group al Shabaab often post about their activities on TikTok and Telegram.

The decision comes days after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said a military offensive against al Shabaab aims to eliminate the al Qaeda-linked group in the next five months.

TikTok, Telegram and 1XBet did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The order gave internet service providers until Aug. 24 to comply.

1XBet is popular in Somalia for betting, especially on soccer matches. TikTok has been threatened with bans in the United States over its alleged ties to the Chinese government. The state of Montana became the first to ban the app in May.

Source: Reuters

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