• May 27, 2024
  • Last Update May 27, 2024 12:55 PM
  • Nairobi

Internet shutdowns Trend: TikTok ban in New Caledonia by France

Internet shutdowns Trend: TikTok ban in New Caledonia by France

By Jehoshaphat Kanyoro Njaro

In a move echoing past controversies, France has declared a state of emergency in New Caledonia, leading to the banning of TikTok on the island,as protestors were keen on using it.

This development comes amidst a wave of unrest and protests triggered by political tensions, adding to the challenges faced by the embattled social media platform.

The decision to ban TikTok was announced by France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, alongside measures such as deploying the army and imposing a curfew on the island, home to approximately 270,000 inhabitants.

The unrest stemmed from a contentious draft law that sparked protests earlier in the week, highlighting deep-seated issues surrounding representation and indigenous rights.The ban in New Caledonia marks an unprecedented move for France, underlining the severity of the situation and the government’s response to quell escalating tensions.

This comes against the backdrop of global concerns over internet shutdowns, as highlighted in a recent report by NGO Access Now, indicating a worrisome trend in restricting online access.

This development also reignites discussions about the role of social media platforms in political unrest, harking back to previous debates when French President Emmanuel Macron suggested shutting down platforms like TikTok and Snapchat to control riots in metropolitan France.

The proposal had faced criticism for its potential to infringe on free speech, drawing parallels to tactics employed by authoritarian regimes.

As TikTok remains silent in response to the ban, the situation underscores the challenges faced by tech companies operating in volatile political climates, navigating the delicate balance between maintaining platforms for free expression and complying with government mandates during times of crisis.

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