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TikTok ban divides Pakistanis

Reporting | - Posted: Oct 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
TikTok ban divides Pakistanis

Photo: AFP

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority decided on Friday to block video-sharing app TikTok in the country. The decision was taken after the app “failed to comply” with the PTA’s instructions to filter out “unlawful online content.”

The announcement was met by all sorts of reactions from people on social media. Some criticised the authority for restricting freedom of expression in the country while others posted memes and jokes on the situation.

Related: TikTok blocks 93,000 accounts with “objectionable content” in Pakistan

PTA ki call ayi thi. Tiktokers nahi rahay [The PTA had called. TikTokers are no more],” wrote TikTok star Jannat Mirza on Instagram. Two days earlier, she became Pakistan’s most popular TikToker with 10 million followers.   

Related: Petition to ban TikTok filed in the Peshawar High Court

Recently, there has been an increasing level of censorship on the type of content Pakistanis can access on their television screens or smart phones. A few days ago, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued an advisory to advertisers and broadcasters against “indecent advertisements.”  

“PTA bans Tiktok in Pakistan. Ban everything at once… why this takkluf [formality] of banning media and social media in bits and pieces, wrote lawyer and digital rights activist Nighat Dad.

For some people, TikTok is more than just an app. They have been using it to showcase their talents and creativity, and make money.  

Hareem Shah, a TikTok star said she used to earn Rs600,000 per month from a Dubai-based company via TikTok. In Pakistan, she nearly earns Rs100,000 for an event or endorsement.

She added that the ban will impact the livelihood of people on the platform.

Some social media users agreed with the ban, deeming it necessary to stop vulgarity in society.

Some suggested that the app should be regulated, instead of completely banning it.

Some people were fed up and think that banning should be banned in Pakistan.

TikTok is a widely popular social media app with millions of users across the world. Pakistan has become the third country to impose a ban on the China-owned app, following the United States and India.  

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