Pakistan bans Tiktok again alleging failure to take down inappropriate content

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Pakistan has once again banned the Chinese application TikTok citing inappropriate content. This is the third time the app has been blocked in the country.

Image: AP/SolenFeyissa/Unsplash

Citing inappropriate content in the application, Pakistan on Wednesday banned the Chinese application TikTok once again. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also released an official press release stating that the action has been taken due to ‘continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform’. Pakistan has also accused TikTok of failing to take down inappropriate content from the platform. 

The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down.

— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) July 21, 2021

Earlier in June, a High Court in Pakistan had temporarily suspended TikTok. While hearing a petition against the Chinese video-sharing app, the Sindh High Court directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend the Chinese app till the next hearing, which is slated to take place on July 8. The temporary suspension was put on the app on the grounds that it is ‘spreading immorality’ in the country. 

Pakistan and TikTok – The on-off game

This is the third time the app has been blocked in the country due to “obscene and immoral content.” 

Last year in October, Pakistan banned Chinese social media app TikTok for failing to filter out “immoral and indecent” content. The decision came after they received a slew of complaints about indecent content on the platform. The ban was lifted after 10 days after TikTok “assured” PTA that videos will be moderated “in accordance with societal norms and the laws of Pakistan.”

Pakistan banned TikTok for the second time in March this year. The ban was lifted on April 1 after the popular video-sharing app offered to moderate uploads again.

China calls bus blast ‘act of terrorism’ 

It is pertinent to note that the ties between Pakistan and China seems to have slackened following a bus blast in which 13 people, including nine Chinese personnel, were killed. Initially, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that a “mechanical failure” resulted in leakage of gas that caused the blast. However, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece Global Times asserted that the explosion was “clearly an act of terrorism that is both carefully planned and supported by information.” 

On July 16, Chinese premier Li Keqiang raised the issue with Imran Khan during a phone call where he stressed the need for Pakistan to use ‘all necessary measures’ to probe the incident and hold the culprits accountable.

Following the incident, China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC), which was working on the Dasu Hydropower Project, stopped its work and terminated the employment of all Pakistanis, except for a few basic staff working for project site maintenance and operation.

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