Gulf Today

Pakistan blocks Tiktok over ‘inappropri­ate content’ again


ISLAMABAD: The popular Tiktok video-sharing app was blocked on Wednesday in Pakistan for a fourth time because of “inappropri­ate content,” the country’s telecommun­ication regulator said.

The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal batles with religious activists and authoritie­s in the conservati­ve Muslim nation, and was shut down for two days earlier this month on the order of a provincial court.

Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet and media.

“The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropri­ate content on the plaform and its failure to take such content down,” the telecoms authority said in a statement. A local Tiktokrepr­esentative­didnotimme­diatelycom­ment.

The app has a huge fan base in Pakistan, where many people use it to market and sell goods online.

But its critics in the nation say it promotes vulgarity and LGBTQ content.

In June, Tiktok said it had removed more than six million videos available to Pakistan users in just three months following complaints from officials and ordinary users.

Around 15 per cent of the videos removed were taken down because of “adult nudity and sexual activities,” the company said.

Officials have previously asked Youtube to block content they deem objectiona­ble, and several dating apps are prohibited.

In April this year the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday lited the ban on popular video-sharing applicatio­n Tiktok and directed the Pakistan Telecommun­ication Authority (PTA) to take steps to ensure that “immoral content” is not uploaded to the plaform.

The PHC also directed PTA Director General Tariq Gandapur to submit a detailed report at the next hearing scheduled for May 25.

Reacting to the news, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry cautioned against “taking decisions that may affect the economic future of Pakistan.”

“We need a framework to encourage internatio­nal companies to make Pakistan their investment hub,” he said on Twiter.

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