Pakistan again blocks access to TikTok for failure to remove ‘inappropriate content’

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July 21, 2021 7:17 PM

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the telecom regulator, in a tweet said that in light of relevant provisions of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, PTA has blocked access to TikTok App and website in the country.

TikTokThe move comes after the Sindh High Court on July 2 withdrew its earlier decision to ban Tiktok for spreading immorality in the country.

Pakistan on Wednesday blocked access to TikTok in the country for its failure to remove “inappropriate content”, taking down the popular Chinese short video-sharing app for the fourth time in recent months.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the telecom regulator, in a tweet said that in light of relevant provisions of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, PTA has blocked access to TikTok App and website in the country.

“The action has been taken due to the continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down,” it said.

The move comes after the Sindh High Court on July 2 withdrew its earlier decision to ban Tiktok for spreading immorality in the country.

The court on June 28 had asked the PTA to suspend the TikTok app on the complaint by a citizen regarding “immorality and obscenity” on the mobile app.

Before that, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in March suspended the app following a petition filed by several citizens. However, the PHC after a few weeks lifted the ban by asking the PTA to take measures so that no “immoral content” was uploaded.

Last year in October, the PTA for the first time banned TikTok after receiving complaints regarding indecent and immoral content but lifted the ban after just 10 days.

This is the fourth time that the government has interrupted “blocked or suspended” TikTok’s services in the country due to the content shared on the platform, media reports said.

PTA Spokesperson Khurram Mehran told Geo News that the video-sharing app was asked multiple times about the “inappropriate content” being posted online, but no action was taken.

“The app was blocked after which the competent authority had issued directives in this regard,” he added.

Interestingly, President Arif Alvi had joined Tiktok to spread the message of positivity and motivation.

“To spread the message of positivity & motivation for the youth of Pakistan, we will keep pushing inspiring videos for the TikTok users,” the president’s official twitter handle announced on July 16.

The app had last month said that it had removed more than six million videos from TikTok in Pakistan in three months, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“In the Pakistani market, TikTok removed 6,495,992 videos making it the second market to get the most videos removed after the USA, where 8,540,088 videos were removed,” TikTok Pakistan’s latest transparency report said, covering January to March.

Around 15 per cent of the removed videos were “adult nudity and sexual activities”, the report said.

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