Business & Economy

Pakistan bans Tiktok over ‘immoral, indecent’ content

Islamabad, Oct 9 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Friday banned popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok for failing to check “immoral and indecent” content through an order by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, which also blocked popular dating applications such as Tinder and Grindr last month.

“In view of number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video sharing application TikTok, the PTA has issued instructions for blocking of the application,” the authority said in a statement.

The PTA added that the decision to ban the application was taken after TikTok was given a “final notice” in July and “considerable time to respond and comply with the Authority instructions for development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content.”

The video-sharing network, developed by Chinese firm ByteDance, has a user base of around 14 million in the country, according to market and consumer data website Statista.

Neighboring India had already banned the popular app earlier this year after border tensions with China, while the United States administration of President Donald Trump has also sought to block it citing security reasons, although US courts have stayed the decision for now.

However, the conservative Islamic state of Pakistan – a name that literally means “land of the pure” – enjoys a close relationship with Beijing, and the ban is based on different concerns.

Islamabad had recently warned various online platforms to moderate their content and in September banned dating applications Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi.

The Pakistani authorities have used the controversial Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, approved by the parliament in 2016, to impose the bans. Human rights groups have alleged that the law allows censorship and curtails freedom of expression in the country.

The PTA has also urged Youtube to block “vulgar, indecent and immoral” content in the country. EFE-EPA

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