TikTok back in Pakistan after court revokes ban

PHC allows unblocking of TikTok

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Peshawar: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday allowed the government to lift the TikTok blockade of the country.

During the hearing of the case regarding unethical content on TikTok, the court, while allowing the removal of the ban on the application, instructed officials not to allow any unethical content to be uploaded on TikTok.

Director General of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) told the court that they have taken the issue with administration of the app which has also appointed a focal person in the country.

Chief Justice of PHC remarked that a system should be established that can distinguish between good and bad content. With action from PTA, people will not upload immoral content anymore, he added.

Earlier on March 11, the Peshawar High Court had ordered the authorities to ban the Chinese app TikTok for short video sharing due to unethical content.

During the hearing of the application’s case, the chief judge pointed out that videos uploaded on the application are not acceptable in our society, so the application should be banned from today.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) told the court that it had filed an application for unethical content with officials; however, it did not receive a positive response from the company.

PHC said that as long as company officials do not follow the country’s instructions, the application should be prohibited.

He also said that the application had a negative impact on the younger generation.

Pakistan also banned TikTok in October 2020 because it failed to filter out immoral and indecent content. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said in a statement that the decision was made after many complaints from all walks of life.

“Keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, PTA issued a final notice to the application,” the statement said.

“However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions. Therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country.”

However, after a 10-day hiatus, TikTok services were restored across the country with certain conditions, as PTA warned the company that spread of vulgarity / indecent content and abuse of societal values would result in a permanent ban on the app.

“The ban, which was placed on the short video sharing platform by the telecom regulator on Oct 9, was lifted after an ‘assurance’ regarding effective ‘moderation of content’ by the TikTok management in a virtual meeting, according to the PTA.

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