France bans TikTok, declares state of emergency as riots over voting reform turn deadly in New Caledonia

On Wednesday, government leaders in Paris declared a state of emergency in the French territory of New Caledonia after riots over voting reform turned deadly.

In an effort to quell the violent demonstrations, France announced that residents of the archipelago would have to abide by a curfew, and that TikTok would be temporarily banned.

According to France24, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal told a crisis ministerial meeting in the French capital that the measures "will allow us to roll out massive means to restore order," making it clear that, "no violence will be tolerated."

The impact TikTok has had on the riots was not revealed, however social media has played a large role in other acts of civil unrest across the world.

The state of emergency will allow authorities to restrict movement of people in New Caledonia, conduct searches, and even detain people deemed to be threats inside their homes. Those who refuse to comply could face prison sentences.

As of Wednesday, four people had died as a result of the riots, including a French gendarme, who succumbed to his wounds after being seriously injured while on duty.

An additional 300 people have been injured, and police have made over 130 arrests since the violence broke out on Monday.

As France24 reports, the riots were sparked by new legislation approved by lawmakers in Paris that would extend voting rights to allow citizens of mainland France who live in New Caledonia for at least 10 years to take part in provincial elections.

Many have feared that the new rule would decrease the already diminished voting power of the indigenous Kanak people, who make up around 40 percent of the population.

Independence from France has long been debated in New Caledonia, however three referendums all ended with residents opting to remain a territory of the European nation.

Some have argued that with an increase in European voters, future referendums would have even less chance of going the way of those who wish to leave.

Image: Title: nouvelle caledonie