The Ministry of Communication in Afghanistan has announced that the TikTok social media platform and the PUBG gaming app are “leading the youth astray” and will be blocked soon.
The Ministry said that it has given telecommunication companies one month to block TikTok and three months to block PUBG.
Both applications are extremely popular among young people in Afghanistan.
The decision was taken under the leadership of Najibullah Haqqani, Acting Minister of Telecommunications and Technology, with the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, General Directorate of Intelligence, Ministry of Prohibition of Virtue and Complaints, Breshna Company and the Department of Affairs.
A spokesman for the Ministry, Enayatullah Alekozai, told 5Pillars that that these applications were “misleading young people.”
TikTok is a Chinese company and one of the most popular applications in the world. It is a short-form video hosting service which hosts genres like pranks, stunts, tricks, jokes, dance, and entertainment with durations from 15 seconds to ten minutes. Access to adult content is extremely easy.
PUBG (previously known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) is a battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Studios in South Korea. The game, which was inspired by the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, involves up to one hundred players parachuting onto an island where they scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill other players while avoiding getting killed themselves.
PUBG sold over 75 million copies on personal computers and game consoles as of the end of 2021, and is the best-selling video game on PC and Xbox One, and the fifth best-selling video game of all time.
Afghanistan is the third country, after Pakistan and India, that has said it will ban PUBG.
The Islamic Emirate has been gradually cracking down on social activities that are considered to not be in compliance with the Shari’ah. Before this, they stopped the publication of some foreign TV serials from neighbouring countries.
Telecommunications companies in Afghanistan have previously considered it difficult to block Tik Tok and PUBG because of the usage of Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications which allow users to browse prohibited links and websites.