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PTA decides to unblock TikTok in Pakistan

It was banned on Oct 9

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 19, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
PTA decides to unblock TikTok in Pakistan

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has decided to unblock video sharing app TikTok in Pakistan.

The app was blocked on October 9 for its “obscene and immoral” content.

The PTA spokesperson said the TikTok management has assured the authority that it will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality and moderate content in accordance with local laws. The authority has not announced whether the app will be unblocked immediately.

The authority had said at the time of the ban that the decision was made after it received complaints ‘against immoral/indecent content’ on the app. “In view of the presence of vulgar, indecent/immoral content on the platform and its negative effects on the society, the PTA has been continuously asserting TikTok to prevent its platform from disseminating the unlawful content,” it said, adding that the app didn’t take concrete steps for blocking and removal of unlawful content.

“As a result of continuous engagement with the platform’s senior management before and after imposition of the ban, TikTok has assured moderating content in accordance with societal norms and the laws of Pakistan and ensured that the users who are continuously involved in uploading unlawful content are blocked from the platform.”

The PTA said it had issued a final notice to the app and gave considerable time to respond and develop and an effective mechanism for ‘proactive moderation of unlawful online content.’

Petition to ban TikTok filed in the Peshawar High Court

TikTok has failed to fully comply with the PTA’s instructions, a press release sent by the authority read.

The PTA said it has informed TikTok that they are ‘open for engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content’

However, on October 17, TikTok said it hadn’t received any communication from the PTA. In a statement issued on Saturday, TikTok said they continued to engage with the PTA after the app was banned in Pakistan to demonstrate their commitment to comply with local laws and further enhance their content moderation capacity.

TikTok said it is ready to assess their allocation of resources to the market if the government decides to reopen access to the app’s services.

“It’s unfortunate that Pakistan’s vibrant online community is still unable to showcase their talent and creativity to our hundreds of millions of users worldwide. We look forward to being able to reconnect with the energetic and talented youth of Pakistan and play our role in the success story of Pakistan,” the statement concluded.

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