Islamabad, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- The high court in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar Thursday ordered the government to block the Chinese social media app TikTok in the country for alleged obscene content.
The government banned the app last October restored it shortly on conditions that it would not allow obscenity or vulgarity against the societal values of Pakistan.
But on Thursday, the Peshawar High Court ruled that Tiktok was “spreading obscenity in the society which is unacceptable,” court official Bashir Khan told EFE.
Khan said the court was hearing a petition that sought a ban on Tiktok.
The court ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) “to immediately close it (the access to the app).”
The authority told the court that it had written to Tiktok to remove the so-called obscene content, but the app developers were yet to respond.
The ban will take effect across the country, PTA spokesperson Khurram Mehran told EFE.
Mehran said the authority could not ban the app only in one province.
“Tiktok will be banned across the country as per the (court) orders. There is no technology that can ban it in one province.”
Tiktok has a user base of around 14 million in the country, according to market and consumer data website Statista.
Neighboring India had banned the popular app last year after border tensions with China.
However, the conservative Islamic state of Pakistan – that literally translates into the “land of the pure” – enjoys a close relationship with Beijing.
The government 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.
The PTA has also urged Youtube to block “vulgar, indecent and immoral” content in the country. EFE-EPA