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Saturday November 27, 2021

Pakistan lifts ban on TikTok

PTA briefs PHC on actions taken by body to remove immoral content from TikTok

By Web Desk
April 01, 2021


PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday took back its ban on TikTok and asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to let the Chinese app operate in Pakistan but make sure that "immoral content" is not uploaded. 

During the hearing, PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan asked the PTA director general what action the regulatory body has taken to remove “immoral content” from the platform.

The PTA DG told the court that they had taken up the issue with TikTok’s management again. He added that the company has hired a focal person on the issue.

“We will monitor all the immoral and illegal things being uploaded on TikTok,” said the DG PTA.

To this, the judge told the PTA that it should have a system in place to differentiate between “good and bad” content on the app.

“When PTA take action [against immoral content], people will not upload such videos,” said Justice Qaiser.

Upon hearing the judge, the DG PTA said: “We have talked to TikTak management to block those accounts who make the same mistake again and again.”

The court then issued orders to unblock the app and directed PTA to work on stopping immoral content on the Chinese app.

“Open TikTok but immoral content should not be uploaded,” said the court while issuing the orders. The court also adjourned the hearing till May 25 and asked the DG PTA to present a detailed report on the matter.

TikTok statement

Following the PHC order, TikTok said they were pleased to see that the app has become available in Pakistan once again.

“We are pleased that TikTok is once again available to our community in Pakistan. This is a testament to TikTok's continued commitment to enforcing our community guidelines to promote a safe and positive community online,” said the Chinese owned app in a statement.

TitTok acknowledged the PTA for its “support and ongoing productive dialogue”. It also recognised the authority for their care of the “digital experience of Pakistani users”.

It added that actions taken by the PTA will go a long way to assuring a stable, enabling environment to allow TikTok to explore further investment in Pakistan.

Last month, PTA directed the country's service providers to block users' access to video-sharing app TikTok — in line with the court's orders.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) had ordered Pakistani authorities to immediately ban the video-sharing platform in the country.

"In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App," the PTA said.

The orders were issued by PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, who was hearing a petition filed by a citizen seeking a ban on Tiktok.

This was the second time that the widely used App was banned in Pakistan.

In October of last year, the PTA had blocked the Chinese-owned video-sharing app after the company "failed to fully comply" with its instructions for “development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.