Taliban: Taliban Order TikTok, PUBG Ban in Entertainment Crackdown

KABUL: The Taliban on Thursday banned the video app TikTok and the survival shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) game, claiming they were leading Afghan youth astray.
The phone apps are popular among Afghans, who have had few entertainment outlets since hardline Islamists took power last year and banned music, movies and TV soap operas.
The apps “have led the young generation astray,” the cabinet said in a statement, adding that the telecommunications ministry had been ordered to shut them down.
It also instructed the ministry to prevent TV channels from showing “immoral material”, although little is broadcast except news and religious content.
Despite the promise of a softer version of the harsh Islamist rule that characterized their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban have slowly introduced stifling restrictions on social life, especially for women.
Most girls’ high schools remain closed, and women are not allowed to hold government jobs or travel abroad — or even between cities — unless accompanied by an adult male relative.
The previous administration of now-deposed President Ashraf Ghani had attempted to ban PUBG – a first-person shooter game reminiscent of the book and film series “The Hunger Games”.
According to figures published in January by DataReportal, an independent data collector, just over 9 million people have internet access across Afghanistan, a country of about 38 million people.
There are about 4 million social media users, of which Facebook is the most popular.
TikTok, owned by China, has been shut down twice before in neighboring Pakistan over alleged “indecent” content.
During their previous regime, the feared Taliban religious police banned recreational activities such as kite flying and pigeon racing.

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