Senegal suspends TikTok saying it was threatening stability

The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo on Sept. 28, 2020. TikTok may be the platform of choice for catchy videos, but anyone using it to learn about COVID-19, climate change or Russia's invasion of Ukraine is likely to encounter misleading information, according to a new research report. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

DAKAR, (Reuters) – Senegal has suspended access to social media app TikTok until further notice, the communications minister said on Wednesday, days after restricting the use of mobile internet amid opposition protests.

“The minister… informs the public that it has been observed that the TikTok application is the social network favoured by people with bad intentions to spread hateful and subversive messages threatening the stability of the country,” the minister’s statement said.

The West African country has also restricted access to internet services since Monday, using a similar justification.

The restrictions come after opposition leader Ousmane Sonko was charged with plotting an insurrection, criminal conspiracy and other offences.

Senegal has seen sporadic violent protests throughout the year, as opposition supporters have accused President Macky Sall of levelling charges against Sonko to disqualify him from the next election.