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Pakistan bans TikTok for ‘indecent’ content

Pakistan bans TikTok for ‘indecent’ content

LAHORE, Pakistan

The Pakistan telecommunication authority (PTA) has banned the video creator application, TikTok, because of immoral content, an official said Friday.  

“We have received a number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content which is being shared consistently on the social media platform.” PTA spokesperson Khurram Mehran told Anadolu agency. “We gave considerable time to the application managers to respond and comply with the authority’s instructions. However, they have failed to give any response, therefore, directions were issued for blocking the application.”

“However, TikTok has been informed by the Authority that we are open for engagement and will review the decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by them to moderate unlawful content, as we understand that banning the application is not a permanent solution,” said Mehran.

Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz said last month that Prime Minister Imran Khan was considering a ban because the app was spreading obscenity contrary to the cultural values of the country. 

Pakistan is now the second Asian country to block the app this year, after India.  

The Asia Internet Coalition, an industry association of leading internet and technology companies, wrote Wednesday to Khan, expressing concerns about the lack of consultation on revised social media rules that have reportedly been submitted to a Cabinet committee for final approval. 

The letter said “the Rules if improperly formulated, would actively harm the business environment in Pakistan and its attractiveness as an investment destination for technology companies.” 

Usama Khilji, head of Bol Bhi, a civil society organization geared toward advocacy and research in digital rights said: “Blocking an entertainment app that is used by millions of people, and is a source of income for thousands of content creators, especially those coming from smaller towns and villages is a travesty to democratic

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TikTok: Pakistan bans app over ‘immoral and indecent’ content | World News

TikTok: Pakistan bans app over ‘immoral and indecent’ content | World News

Pakistan has banned the TikTok app for failing to filter out “immoral and indecent” content, regulators have said.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the ban was due to “complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video-sharing application”.

TikTok reportedly has 20 million monthly active users in the country.

And it was the third most downloaded app after WhatsApp and Facebook over the last 12 months, according to an analytics firm.

In July, Pakistan issued a final warning to TikTok due to content of a provocative nature.

Tyumen, Russia - January 21, 2020: TikTok and Facebook, YouTube application  on screen Apple iPhone XR
Image:
The app has already been banned in India

The decision to ban it was said to have been taken after prime minister Imran Khan took a keen interest in the matter.

A Pakistani official said Mr Khan has asked telecommunication authorities to ensure vulgar content was blocked.

TikTok has faced increasing scrutiny as its popularity continues to grow globally.

Governments in Australia and the US have cracked down on the Chinese-owned app, with concerns about privacy and security over its links to Beijing.

Tiktok was banned by India in June, which at the time was its largest market by users. Security concerns were cited as the reason during a border dispute with China.

The PTA has said it is “open for engagement” and would review the ban if TikTok could provide a satisfactory way to moderate unlawful content.

Tiktok, owned by China-based ByteDance, said it is “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered”.

It added: “We have been in regular communication with the PTA and continue to work with them. We are hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us continue to serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community.”

The company has also long denied that its links

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Pakistan ban TikTok over ‘immoral and indecent content’

Pakistan ban TikTok over ‘immoral and indecent content’



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Tiktok has been banned in Pakistan after it failed to filter out “immoral and indecent” content, the country’s telecom regulator said.

The move is another blow to the social media app which has come under increasing scrutiny as its popularity has surged across the globe .

The block comes following “complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video-sharing application,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said.

The decision would be reviewed subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content.



a hand holding a cellphone: The telecommunication authority said TikTok need to introduce more filters(AP)


© Provided by Evening Standard
The telecommunication authority said TikTok need to introduce more filters(AP)

TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, has become hugely popular in a short period of time by encouraging users to post brief videos.

Its quick rise has caught it in a firestorm, with a number of countries raising security and privacy concerns over its alleged links to the Chinese state.

In June the app was blocked in India, which at the time had more TikTok users than anywhere in the world. Indian officials cited national security concerns in light of an ongoing border dispute with China.

TikTok also faces the threat of being barred in the United States, and scrutiny in other countries including Australia.

TikTok has long denied that its links to China pose a security concern in other countries and said it was “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered”.

“We have been in regular communication with the PTA and continue to work with them,” a spokesman said.

“We are hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us continue to serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community.”

Three Pakistani officials said on Friday that a ban on the app in Pakistan was imminent.

“We have

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Pakistan Blocks TikTok, Citing ‘Immoral’ Content | Voice of America

Pakistan Blocks TikTok, Citing ‘Immoral’ Content | Voice of America

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has blocked online short-video sharing platform TikTok on the grounds of “immoral/indecent” content for viewing in the majority-Muslim nation.

The state regulator said Friday that it had repeatedly instructed the platform to tighten its content monitoring to block access to the “unlawful” material.

“However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions, therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country,” said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, PTA.

The regulator defended the decision, saying the PTA, in a formal warning, had given “considerable time” to the online platform to respond and comply with the instructions.

FILE – A man opens social media app TikTok on his cellphone, in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 21, 2020.

“TikTok has been informed that the authority is open for engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content,” according to the PTA.

There was no immediate reaction from the popular online platform to the blocking of its service by Pakistani authorities.

Amnesty International slammed the ban on TikTok, saying that in the name of a campaign against vulgarity, people are being denied the right to express themselves online.

“The #TikTokBan comes against a backdrop where voices are muted on television, columns vanish from newspapers, websites are blocked and television ads banned,” Amnesty said in a statement posted on Twitter.

TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, is also under pressure globally due to security and privacy concerns.

Neighboring India has already blocked access to the social media outlet, along with dozens of other apps developed by Chinese companies, citing cybersecurity concerns.

TikTok is also under scrutiny in other countries, including the United States, the biggest market by revenue for the company.

Dating apps ban

Last month, Pakistan blocked access to five dating apps for

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Pakistan bans TikTok over immoral content claims

Pakistan bans TikTok over immoral content claims

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked the use of TikTok in the country, explaining the social media app failed to comply with its instructions to moderate content deemed indecent by the regulator.

In a statement, the authority said its move followed a “number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content” on TikTok.

After issuing a formal warning over the app’s practices in July, the PTA explained it took the decision to block the service as TikTok did not fully comply with instructions it gave “for development of effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.

The Pakistani regulator, however, stated it was open for engagement and its banning order was subject to review if content moderation was put in place.

A TikTok representative told Mobile World Live (MWL) the company had “robust protections in place to support a safe and welcoming platform for our community”, which included moderation, clear guidelines and mechanisms for reporting content for review.

TikTok also said it hoped “to reach a conclusion that helps us serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community”.

This is not the first time a popular app has been blocked in the country. In September, the PTA banned access to Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi, citing negative effects from content displayed by the services.

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