TikTok back in Pakistan after court revokes ban

TikTok back in Pakistan after court revokes ban

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Karachi: After the provincial court lifted the suspension of popular social media services, TikTok ran again in Pakistan on Saturday, but ordered it to resolve complaints about its hosting of objectionable content.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) blocked access for the third time on Thursday, after the Sindh Provincial Court heard an ordinary citizen’s petition against a Chinese-owned application.

Free speech advocates have long criticized the government’s strict censorship and control of Pakistan’s Internet and media.

The suspension of TikTok was slammed by the huge fan base of the video sharing platform in Pakistan, many of whom used it to market and sell goods online.

But its critics in this very conservative Muslim country say it promotes vulgarity and LBGQT content.

TikTok has been shut down twice in Pakistan for allegedly “indecent” videos-the most recent time was in March, after which the platform promised to conduct better reviews.

It said Wednesday it had removed more than six million videos from its Pakistan service in the past three months alone — around 15 percent featuring “adult nudity and sexual activities”.

A PTA official told AFP the court had Friday revoked its earlier order banning the app, and users confirmed it was running again.

Still, even senior Pakistan officials appeared confused by the to- and fro-ing.

“I am baffled after reading… verdict on suspension of TikTok,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted. 

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