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Jordan bans TikTok after police officer killed in protests

Truck drivers launched a strike last week to protest high fuel prices in the Arab kingdom.
A picture taken on December 16, 2022 in the southern Jordanian city of Maan, some 140 miles south of the capital Amman, shows a burning tire during a strike on a main road against rising fuel prices in the area.KHALIL MAZRAAWI / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jordan on Friday announced it was imposing a “temporary ban” on the social media platform TikTok, a day after a police officer was killed during clashes with protesters that broke out over high fuel prices.

Truck drivers launched a strike last week to protest high fuel prices in the Arab kingdom. The strike and protests have spread to several cities across Jordan. Clashes erupted in multiple cities on Thursday, with police using tear gas to disperse them.

Videos from the strike and protests flooded TikTok and Jordan’s Public Security Directorate said Friday it was suspending the popular short-form video application “after its misuse and failing to deal with publications inciting violence and disorder.”

Internet service was also disrupted in the cities of Maan, where the police officer was killed, and Karak. Both have seen protests against fuel hikes.

On Friday, the truck drivers were still on strike but the protests have subsided.

Jordanian bus drivers sit next to a banner bearing a slogan which reads "dignity" in Arabic as they continue a strike that started more than 10 days earlier to protest increasing fuel prices, on December 16, 2022 in the southern province of Maan.KHALIL MAZRAAWI / AFP - Getty Images

Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan vowed to “deal firmly” with outlaws. “We will not tolerate violence against our security personnel, who work day and night to protect Jordan and Jordanians,” he said in a statement released by the Royal Court.

The king spoke during a visit to extend condolences to the family of Abdul Razzaq Abdel Hafez Al Dalabeh, deputy police director in the city of Maan who was fatally shot Thursday.

Jordan is a close Western ally and has long been seen as an island of stability in a turbulent region.

Authorities did not say how long the ban would last.