Pakistan has banned TikTok, again. The country’s authorities cite objectionable content on the short-form video app as its reason for the ban. This is the second time the ByteDance platform has been banned in Pakistan within a year. In October 2020, the country banned the short video app for ten days. Its authorities at the time said it was hosting “immoral” and “indecent” videos.
However, after the company was able to assure the Pakistani government that videos would be moderated. It also promised to moderate them “in accordance with societal norms and the laws of Pakistan,”. Then the government allowed it to continue its operations again.
Pakistan’s ICT regulatory commission also announced the ban via its Twitter handle. A Peshawar high court had ordered the government’s telecom regulatory body, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, to ban the app.
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“In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok app. During the hearing of a case today, the PHC has ordered for the blocking of App,” the announcement read.
In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App. During the hearing of a case today, the PHC has ordered for the blocking of App.
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) March 11, 2021
Al Jazeera reports that Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan made the complaint about TikTok. Khan had accused TikTok of hosting content “unacceptable for Pakistani society”. He also said the platform engaged in “peddling vulgarity” and ordered the ban take effect immediately during a hearing according to Financial Times.
“TikTok is built upon the foundation of creative expression, with strong safeguards in place to keep inappropriate content off the platform. In Pakistan, we have grown our local-language moderation team, and have mechanisms to report and remove content in violation of our community guidelines. We look forward to continuing to serve the millions of TikTok users and creators in Pakistan who have found a home for creativity and fun,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
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