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Pakistan

PTA blocks TikTok over 'failure to take inappropriate content down'

  • Telecom regulator says in the light of relevant provisions of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, it has blocked access to TikTok App and website in the country
21 Jul 2021

Islamabad: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that it has blocked access to the popular video-sharing platform TikTok over "inappropriate content".

In a tweet on Wednesday, the telecom regulator said that "in the light of relevant provisions of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, the PTA has blocked access to TikTok App and website in the country".

"The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down," added the telecom regulator.

Background

PTA's action comes after the Sindh High Court (SHC) had lifted the suspension on the Chinese video-sharing app on July 2. According to a written order of the court, a representative of PTA had asserted that they had communicated with TikTok, which assured them that they shall regulate the content posted on the platform in Pakistan in line with local laws and shall block accounts spreading vulgarity.

SHC lifts suspension on TikTok

The SHC had earlier imposed a suspension on TikTok operations after a suit was filed in the court, seeking to ban the application in the country.

Sindh High Court directs PTA to suspend access to TikTok app

However, during the hearing in July, the SHC ordered the PTA to remove the ban after it was assured that the regulator would dispose of the complaints by July 5.

TikTok is a free social application for creating, editing, and sharing videos. While ByteDance developed it for the Chinese market on Android and iOS in 2016, it has steadily gained popularity worldwide, especially among the youth.

Interestingly, just four days ago, President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi created an account on the Chinese-owned video-sharing app "to spread the message of positivity and motivation for the youth of Pakistan", said his spokesperson.

In a statement on Twitter, the spokesperson said, "The President of Pakistan is now on TikTok!'

It read, "To spread the message of positivity & motivation for the youth of Pakistan, we will keep pushing inspiring videos for the TikTok users."

In less than a week, the account had attracted 21,500 followers on the app.