Pakistan: TikTok blocked for “inappropriate content” | News | DW
Pakistan’s telecommunications regulator on Wednesday blocked the Chinese-owned TikTok app on Wednesday citing “inappropriate content.”
In a statement, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said TikTok failed to implement an earlier court ruling aimed at filtering out “immoral and obscene” content.
The app has been caught in a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities. Before Wednesday’s shutdown, the app was banned for two days in early July by order of a provincial court.
TikTok in Pakistan: Useful and Offensive to End Users
Although it is extremely popular and useful to many people who market and sell products online in Pakistan, TikTok has many reviews in the country who claim that the app promotes LGBTQ vulgarity and content.
In June, the company announced that it had removed more than 6 million videos in the past three months alone following complaints from officials and citizens. Of these 6 million videos, 15% were removed because of “adult nudity and sexual activity”.
The first time Pakistan decided to block TikTok, in 2020, the ban was lifted after diplomatic pressure from China and assurances from Byte Dance, the parent company, about content moderation.
TikTok far from the only online censorship in Pakistan
The Pakistani government has previously asked YouTube to block “vulgar and hate speech”. Following an uproar in 2012 that led to protests over a video on the platform seen as denigrating the Prophet Muhammad, YouTube was blocked for several months.
As a result, YouTube introduced a localized version of the video-sharing site to reduce the risk of encountering Pakistani censorship.
The Bigo Live stream app was blocked last year for similar content moderation issues. The Tinder dating app is also banned in Pakistan.
ar / sri (AFP, dpa)