On Thursday, the Taliban banned video-sharing app TikTok as well as the survival-shooter game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), claiming that they were leading Afghanistan’s youth down the wrong path.
The phone apps are popular among Afghans, who have had few options for amusement since the Taliban retook control last year and banned music, movies, and TV programmes.
In a statement, the cabinet said the apps “led the young generation wrong path,” adding that the telecommunications ministry had been asked to take them down.
It also ordered the government to restrict TV stations from broadcasting “immoral material,” despite the fact that little is shown other than news and religious content.
Even through pledging a friendlier version of the rule that characterized their first term in office, from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban have gradually imposed oppressive social restrictions, particularly on women.
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Most girls’ secondary schools are still closed, and women are still forbidden from numerous government professions and from travelling overseas — or even between cities — unless they are accompanied by an adult male relative.
PUBG – a battle royale first-person shooter game inspired by the book and film series “The Hunger Games” — was attempted to be banned by the previous government of now-deposed president Ashraf Ghani.
According to estimates published in January by DataReportal, an independent data collector, just over 9 million people in Afghanistan, a country of about 38 million people, have access to the net.
Around 4 million people use social media, with Facebook being the most popular.
Meanwhile, TikTok, a Chinese-owned app, has been shut down twice in Pakistan for allegedly “indecent” content.
The Taliban’s feared religious police outlawed leisure sports like kite flying and pigeon racing during their previous administration.