Senegal refuses to lift TikTok ban until account removal mechanism agreed

The ban was initially imposed in August due to concerns over the spread of “hateful and subversive messages” amid a political power struggle in the country.

TikTok mobile phone

Senegalese authorities have upheld their ban on the social media app TikTok, insisting that the company must agree to establish a system for removing accounts before the restriction can be lifted.

This decision comes after authorities initially blocked access to TikTok in August, citing concerns that the platform was being used to disseminate ‘hateful and subversive messages’ that posed a threat to the country’s stability, particularly in light of the power struggle between opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and President Macky Sall.

In their discussions with TikTok, the government has raised several key points, including the need for tighter platform regulation and fair compensation for content creators. They also sought clarification on how its algorithm operates and how data protection is ensured.

Why does it matter?

TikTok is currently at risk of being banned in various African countries due to concerns regarding explicit content and misinformation that threaten political and social stability. While TikTok successfully avoided a ban in Kenya by committing to deploy moderators and hire local staff, it faced a different outcome in Somalia. In Senegal, it seems that the removal of the ban depends on whether TikTok is willing to allow government influence in its account removal policy.