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MANILA, Philippines – TikTok Philippines on Wednesday, July 5, confirmed that the ban on Apollo Quiboloy’s TikTok account (Tiktok.com/@pastor_acq) was due to the United States sanctions on the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church and media network SMNI founder.
Representatives for TikTok confirmed via email that “current US sanctions” are the basis for banning Quiboloy’s account, and was also done in accordance with TikTok’s community guidelines. The ban follows Google’s June 21 termination of Quiboloy’s YouTube channel, which the company said was also done in “compliance with applicable US sanctions laws.”
Quiboloy’s TikTok account was found to have been banned by anonymous Twitter user @DuterteWatchdog on July 3. The user said he initially reported the account to TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter on June 24, three days after the Davao preacher’s channel on YouTube was banned.
While YouTube and Google are American companies, TikTok is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese firm ByteDance.
A second account (tiktok.com/@pastoracq_), which is differentiated from the first account with an additional underscore at the end of the user id, is claiming to be an official account of Quiboloy. Its first post appeared six days ago, as dated on the app. We have sought confirmation with TikTok whether the account is indeed an official one.
Despite sanctions, Facebook, Twitter continue to provide service to Quiboloy
Quiboloy is indicted in the US for sex trafficking charges and bulk cash smuggling, among others. A federal warrant for his arrest was issued on November 10, 2021.
The US imposed sanctions on Quiboloy in December 2022 under US Executive Order (EO) No. 13818 for “his connection to serious human rights abuse.”
“Pursuant to EO 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Quiboloy for his connection to serious human rights abuse. As the founder of the Philippines-based church, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name (KOJC), Quiboloy took advantage of his leadership role within the KOJC to engage in a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape and other physical abuse involving minors as young as 11 years old from 2006 to at least 2020,” the US Justice Department said at the time.
Under the directives of the EO, “making or receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for Quiboloy’s benefit are also prohibited.”
While YouTube and its parent company Google, and TikTok have decided to follow US sanctions laws, Facebook and Twitter continue to provide their service to Quiboloy, with the former hosting an official checkmark-bearing Facebook page with 1.2 million followers, making it Quiboloy’s biggest platform by number of followers. Twitter, which also hosts an official Quiboloy page, has 11,400 followers. – Rappler.com