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.