Business & Economy

Pakistan court lifts TikTok ban after 3 weeks

Islamabad, Apr 1 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Thursday unblocked popular Chinese social networking site TikTok after an order by a court which had banned it in March for allegedly not filtering obscene content, following a similar 10-day ban in October.

The Peshawar High Court lifted the ban on the application after instructing the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to prevent the publication of “immoral content,” court spokesperson Gul Khan told EFE.

The PTA said that it was figuring out how to implement the order.

“We are looking at how we can stop people from uploading immoral content. We will issue our response in due time,” PTA spokesperson Khurram Mehran told EFE.

On Mar. 11, the same court had ordered the government to block the Chinese app, saying it had immoral content and was “spreading obscenity in the society, which is unacceptable.”

On Thursday, Science and Communications Minister Fawad Hussain welcomed the court decision in a tweet and said one should be “careful” over such bans as his ministry was trying to attract international companies to the country.

Tiktok has a user base of around 14 million in the country, according to market and consumer data website Statista.

The video-sharing platform had also been blocked on Oct. 9, 2020 in the country for a similar charge of not filtering “immoral and indecent” content.

The ban was lifted just 10 days later after Pakistani authorities received assurances from the developers, Chinese company ByteDance, that they would block the objectionable content.

The government of the conservative Islamic country had last year 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. EFE-EPA


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