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PTA thinking of lifting TikTok ban over conditions on content

Pakistan has banned the social media app four times

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago

Artwork by SAMAA Digital

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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has hinted at lifting the ban on TikTok, a video-sharing application, over conditions of removing "immoral" and "obscene" content. TikTok should penalise people for uploading "vulgar" videos and children should be stopped from sharing such content, PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa said Monday. The quality of the content on the application was one of the primary reasons why TikTok was banned in Pakistan four times, he pointed out. Earlier this year, TikTok announced that it has removed over six million videos in Pakistan due to nude and sexual content, from January till March this year. The exact number of videos was 6,495,992. Pakistan is second on the list behind the US where 8,540,088 videos were removed. In a conversation with journalists, the PTA chairperson revealed that Pakistan is among the top 10 social media markets in the world. As these markets continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult to regulate content because the head offices of these social media platforms are based abroad. "In response to our concerns about blasphemous, sectarian, immoral, and defamatory content, the global social media platforms are reluctant to abide by Pakistani law and norms of its society," he said, adding that in a majority of cases Pakistan’s complaints are not entertained. Bajwa remarked that PTA's responsibility is to protect Pakistanis from harm online according to the law and societal norms. "But it is also important that social media companies respect our law." No value-added services charged from mobile phone users The PTA chairperson added that charging additional and secret charges from mobile phone users is unacceptable. "We have clear and written instructions from the PTA that no value-added services can be taken without the user's permission." PTA has upgraded its Complaint Management System as well which focuses on facilitating telecom consumers to lodge complaints and to process and address consumers’ grievances.
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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has hinted at lifting the ban on TikTok, a video-sharing application, over conditions of removing “immoral” and “obscene” content.

TikTok should penalise people for uploading “vulgar” videos and children should be stopped from sharing such content, PTA Chairman Amir Azeem Bajwa said Monday.

The quality of the content on the application was one of the primary reasons why TikTok was banned in Pakistan four times, he pointed out.

Earlier this year, TikTok announced that it has removed over six million videos in Pakistan due to nude and sexual content, from January till March this year. The exact number of videos was 6,495,992. Pakistan is second on the list behind the US where 8,540,088 videos were removed.

In a conversation with journalists, the PTA chairperson revealed that Pakistan is among the top 10 social media markets in the world. As these markets continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly difficult to regulate content because the head offices of these social media platforms are based abroad.

“In response to our concerns about blasphemous, sectarian, immoral, and defamatory content, the global social media platforms are reluctant to abide by Pakistani law and norms of its society,” he said, adding that in a majority of cases Pakistan’s complaints are not entertained.

Bajwa remarked that PTA’s responsibility is to protect Pakistanis from harm online according to the law and societal norms. “But it is also important that social media companies respect our law.”

No value-added services charged from mobile phone users

The PTA chairperson added that charging additional and secret charges from mobile phone users is unacceptable.

“We have clear and written instructions from the PTA that no value-added services can be taken without the user’s permission.”

PTA has upgraded its Complaint Management System as well which focuses on facilitating telecom consumers to lodge complaints and to process and address consumers’ grievances.

 
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