Pakistan blocks TikTok due to ‘inappropriate content’

Islamabad: Pakistan has blocked short-video streaming platform TikTok due to the app’s failure to regulate content. This has been the fourth time the country has blocked the Chinese application. The Chinese application, owned by ByteDance, has also been banned in India due to security concerns.

The application was blocked by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the country’s telecom regulator. In a tweet, the authority said the TikTok application was blocked in light of relevant provisions of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016.

“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.

PTA was asked to remove the application from circulation by the country’s judiciary on 28 June. A complaint was filed against the app by a citizen for spreading “immorality and obscenity”.

Earlier, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had suspended TikTok in the month of March. The ban was lifted in a few weeks after PTA was asked to take measures so that no “immoral content” was uploaded.

In October 2020, the app was banned in Pakistan for the first time. However, the ban was lifted after just 10 days. In all four instances when the app was blocked, the government had concerns regarding the content shared on the application.

In India, the app was banned along with 58 other Chinese applications in the month of June 2020. Later, the Indian govt went on to ban over 150 Chinese applications due to the security threats posed by these applications.

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