Senegal seeks regulation deal with TikTok after ban

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese authorities on Thursday refused to lift a ban on social media app TikTok as they demanded that the company sign an agreement that would allow the creation of a mechanism to remove accounts.

“For the time being, the restriction is being maintained pending the conclusion of a comprehensive written agreement,” communications minister Moussa Bocar Thiam told a press conference, adding that authorities were in discussions with TikTok.

Authorities blocked access to TikTok in August following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, saying the platform was being used to distribute “hateful and subversive messages” that were threatening the stability of the country.

A power struggle between Sonko, the Pastef party leader, and President Macky Sall led to violent demonstrations in June and damaged Senegal’s reputation as the most stable democracy in West Africa.

During its discussions with TikTok, the government requested better regulation of the platform and asked questions about the functioning of its algorithm and data protection.

It also asked for fair remuneration for content creators that would enable young people to make a living from social media.

(Reporting by Ngouda Dione; Writing by Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Mark Porter)