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The ban was issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority over long-standing issued with content filtering to the app’s young users. TikTok has claimed it follows the “law run markets where the app is offered”. Pakistan is the latest country to ban the app, following neighbouring India and threats from the US.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued a statement saying the app had failed to follow the country’s request to monitor unlawful content.
They said they issued the ban over “complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video-sharing application”
The PTA has said they will remain in discussions with TikTok and owners ByteDance over lifting the ban.
But the authority has warned the app it would only be lifted if a satisfactory mechanism to moderate unlawful content was added to the platform.
TikTok has responded to the PTA’s ban, and claimed it remains “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered”.
They added: “We have been in regular communication with the PTA and continue to work with them.
“We are hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us continue to serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community.”
TikTok reportedly has over 20 million monthly active users in Pakistan, and is the third most downloaded app in the country.
Pakistan issued a “final warning” to the app over unlawful and provocative content in July.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken an interest in the app’s operations in the country, and pushed for the ban.
At the end of September, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said in an interview Mr Khan was “extremely concerned about the ‘growing obscenity and vulgarity’ in the society”.
Mr Khan himself also said in an earlier interview of the risk of apps like TikTok: “World history tells when you increase fahashi (vulgarity) in the society, two things happen: sex crimes increase and the family system breaks down.”
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Pakistani TikTok stars and users have urged Mr Khan to revoke the ban.
Hareem Shah urged the PTA ahead of the ban to reconsider blocking access to the app as TikTok already moderates content on its platform.
She said: “TikTok administration removes such content itself. Hence there is no need to place a ban on the video-sharing application.”
Jannat Mirza, in September, also said of the app: “In general, it was a good app. It was accessible to everyone.
“So much talent emerged through this app.”
Pakistan’s ban on the app comes as the country has strict media regulations adhering to Islamic social customs.
Pakistan joins neighbouring India in banning the Chinese social media platform, with other countries threatening to block access to the app.
India banned TikTok, along with over 50 Chinese apps, in June over national security concerns.
US President Donald Trump also threatened to ban the app in June for the same reason, but would allow the app to run in America if it was bought by a US-based company.
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