Pakistan’s court orders ban on TikTok


Monitoring Desk
Widely used video-sharing social networking service TikTok experienced another ban on Thursday after the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed Pakistani authorities to immediately ban the app over immoral content.
The directives were issued by PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, who was hearing a plea seeking a ban on Tiktok.
PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan remarked that the videos uploaded on the Chinese owned app were”not acceptable for Pakistani society”.
“Tik​​tok videos are spreading obscenity, it [the app] should be shut down immediately,” ordered Chief Justice Qaisar Rashid Khan
The PCH CJ also questioned the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) director-general on whether shutting down TikTok would have an impact on the people running the app, to which the DG said “yes, it would”.
The DG added that the government had approached the TikTok officials over the immoral content, but they were yet to receive a “positive” response from them.
As soon as the judge heard this, he observed that TikTok should be shut down till the company responds to the government on the “immoral” content being posted on the website.
“TikTok will be shut down till officials comply with your request and cooperate with you to stop immoral content on the app,” ordered the PHC CJ.
This is the second time that the the widely used App has been banned in Pakistan.
In October of last year, the PTA had blocked the Chinese-owned video-sharing app after the company “failed to fully comply” with its instructions for “development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content”.
At the time, the PTA had said that the step was taken after the authority said it received a number of complaints from different segments of society against “immoral and indecent” content on the video-sharing application.
However, the same month, the PTA overturned its decision after it was told by TikTok that the company would “block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality”.
While complying to the orders of the court, The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed the country’s service providers to block users’ access to video-sharing app TikTok.
“In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App,” the PTA said.
Following the ban, Tik Tok issued a statement saying that it uses a combination of technologies and moderation strategies to detect and review content that violates its terms of service and community guidelines.
“we implement penalties including removing videos and banning accounts when there are violations. Our H2 2020 Transparency Report shows that we aggressively and proactively take down inappropriate content in Pakistan,” it said.
The company said the report highlighted its commitment to complying with local laws. “In fact, we have enhanced moderation capabilities in Pakistan, with our local-language moderation team growing close to 250% since September.”
The company said it is committed to continue working closely with the PTA to further strengthen safeguards on behalf of its users. But it said it was also committed to ensuring its users’ rights to express themselves creatively on the platform — in line with company policies.
“We have faith that by working with the authorities to explain our policies and demonstrate our dedication to user security, we can arrive at a resolution that would allow TikTok to continue serving the millions of users in Pakistan who have found a home for creative expression on our platform,” it added.


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