News|Social Media
Pakistan lifts TikTok ban for a second time
Pakistan’s media regulatory agency reinstates access to the Chinese video service after a court last month banned it for ‘vulgar’ content.
Pakistani officials said the app has assured it will filter and moderate content [File: Mike Blake/Reuters]
1 Apr 2021
Pakistan has lifted a second ban imposed on TikTok over “immoral and unethical” content after the popular video-sharing app again offered to moderate uploads.
A court in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month ordered the communications regulator to block the app over videos it deemed contrary to the conservative country’s moral values.
At the hearing, senior agency official Tariq Gandapur said contact had been established with TikTok to ensure those who share “vulgar” content are blocked.
The app, owned by China-based ByteDance, has been downloaded almost 39 million times in Pakistan.
“The app has assured us it will filter and moderate content,” Jahanzeb Mehsud, a lawyer for Pakistan Telecommunications Agency, told AFP news agency.
The Chinese-owned platform – wildly popular among Pakistani youth, particularly in rural areas – had also agreed to moderate content after the first brief ban in October.
One of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisers blamed it for promoting the “exploitation, objectification and sexualisation” of young girls.
TikTok welcomed the removal of the ban.
“We are pleased that TikTok is once again available to our community in Pakistan,” it said in a statement, adding that it is committed “to promote a safe and positive community online”.
Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised the creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet and printed and electronic media.
Last year, Pakistani regulators had asked YouTube to immediately block all videos they consider “objectionable” from being accessed in the country, a demand criticised by rights campaigners.
Pakistan and China are close allies in the region.
Pakistani court orders TikTok banned over ‘obscene content’
The ruling says some videos uploaded on the popular platform are ‘unacceptable for Pakistani society’.
11 Mar 2021
TikTok sale to Walmart, Oracle put on ice by Biden team: Report
The Wall Street Journal reported the sale of the popular video-sharing app has been put on hold indefinitely.
10 Feb 2021
Pakistan lifts ban on TikTok after app vows to moderate content
Regulatory body says video-sharing app provided assurances it will block accounts spreading obscenity and immorality.
19 Oct 2020
Pakistan bans TikTok over ‘indecent’ content
Chinese social media app was given a ‘final notice’ over ‘obscenity’ concerns by authorities in July.
9 Oct 2020
US stocks set more all-time highs
Canada’s Justin Trudeau unveils new cabinet
UN warns of climate ‘catastrophe’ with ‘weak’ emission-cut vows
Most Poles think Warsaw should give ground in EU dispute: Survey
Police arrest 150 people globally in dark web sting: Europol
Sudan’s army says it toppled gov’t to avoid civil war
South Africa cricketer pulls out of team after order to take knee
Kashmir students who cheered for Pakistan booked under terror law
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network