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President Alvi joins TikTok to spread ‘positivity, motivate Pakistani youth’

Pakistan has banned the app three times

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo: Facebook/Arif Alvi

Pakistan President Arif Alvi has joined the video-sharing app TikTok, the government confirmed Friday.

The president hopes to “spread the message of positivity and motivation for the youth of Pakistan,” according to his official account. “We will keep pushing inspiring videos for the TikTok users.”

A video in which the president is telling people to take interest in their country and build it has been shared with the post too.

The account has 265 followers so far. You can follow it here.

The development is quite interesting because Pakistan has banned and unblocked the app three times.

The video-sharing app was first blocked in Pakistan on October 9, 2020 over its “obscene and immoral” content. 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.’ TikTok has failed to fully comply with the PTA’s instructions, a press release sent by the authority reads.

Related: TikTok ban divides Pakistanis

The ban was, however, reversed after 10 days. 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.

The PTA blocked TikTok for the second time on the high court’s orders on March 11. “In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App,” the PTA said in a Twitter post.

The order to block the app was issued by the PHC over the presence of “immoral content” on the platform. In his short order, PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan told the authorities that the ban should not be revoked till objectionable content is removed.

A man filed a petition in the high court on September 8, 2020. He said that he approached the court after the PTA and other institutions failed to take notice of the “immoral and objectionable” content on the app. The ban was reversed after three weeks.

The third ban was ordered after the Sindh High Court and reversed after four days.

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