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We cannot deny the fact that TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms at the moment. 

The brief video app developed by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance company has received over 3 billion downloads worldwide as of the year 2023.

It has also topped as one of the most downloaded apps on the IOS for five straight quarters and evolved into a window into modern youth culture.

TikTok has shown to be more than a passing trend or coincidence.

Its continued popularity exposes a few intriguing details about the way social media is developing driven by memes, highly tailored by algorithms, and a world that is disconnected from real-world social relationships. 

TikTok has also generated income for some companies as they can advertise their products or services and be sure of reaching millions of people. 

It has also helped create brand awareness thus leading to the rise, and growth of TikTok stars and business brands thus contributing to the heightening of the Gross Domestic Product of a country's economy. 

Despite all the pros that the Chinese app has come by some countries have gone ahead and banned the app. 

This is based on concerns about national security and privacy. Here is a list of countries that have banned the social app; 

Countries that have permanently banned TikTok; 

  • Afghanistan 

In 2021 the Taliban banned the usage of TikTok on the account that the app is leading the youth astray. They also claimed that the app exposes children to explicit content at a young age.

  • India 

In 2021 India banned TikTok on allegations that it operates as a sophisticated surveillance tool which is only natural for them to secure their communication network. 

Despite banning TikTok, India has also banned other 50 applications. The ban was permanent and since then the application has withdrawn its market and operations from India. 

Countries that temporarily banned TikTok;

  • Indonesia

In 2018, TikTok was banned in Indonesia after the Indonesian government accused the app of promulgating pornographic and blasphemous content.

The government stated that the content being spread is contributing to the moral decay of the youth. Though after a week the government lifted the ban.  

  • Bangladesh

In November 2018, the Bangladesh government banned the application on claims that they needed to save children from moral and social degradation and that the youth app is a source of addiction. 

They also added that the app was involved in cybercrime activities. 

The Bangladesh authorities contacted TikTok to identify accounts involved in money laundering which lead to the ban of the application. 

Some months later, petitioners went to court and formed a committee that made some recommendations to the regulatory commission of Bangladesh on banning games and apps that were presumably harmful to youths and the ban was lifted. 

In 2021, the authorities uncovered a human trafficking racket that run through TikTok which had trafficked more than 500 young girls to India thus leading to its ban.

  • Pakistan 

In October 2020, Pakistan first banned TikTok for the widespread complaints of the alleged spread of immoral, obscene, and vulgar content on the app though the ban was lifted in 10 days. 

In 2021, Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority banned TikTok for the fourth time over the same allegations.

It requested the app to block users who post such content and regulate content that requires parental guidance.