Kyrgyzstan blocks TikTok over child protection concerns

This move reflects Kyrgyzstan’s tightening control over media and civil society. Despite being relatively open, recent actions signal a shift towards state regulation.

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Kyrgyzstan has banned TikTok following security service recommendations to safeguard children. The decision comes amid growing global scrutiny over the social media app’s impact on children’s mental health and data privacy.

The Kyrgyz digital ministry cited ByteDance’s failure to comply with child protection laws, sparking concerns from advocacy groups about arbitrary censorship. The decision reflects Kyrgyzstan’s broader trend of tightening control over media and civil society, departing from its relatively open stance.

Meanwhile, TikTok continues to face scrutiny worldwide over its data policies and alleged connections to the Chinese government.

Why does it matter?

This decision stems from legislative text approved last summer aimed at curbing the distribution of ‘harmful’ online content accessible to minors. Such content encompasses material featuring ‘non-traditional sexual relationships’ and those that undermine ‘family values,’ as well as promoting illegal conduct, substance abuse, or anti-social behaviours. Chinese officials have not publicly commented on this decision, although in March, Beijing accused the US of ‘bullying’ over similar actions against TikTok.