Pakistan bans TikTok for immoral content

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Pakistan has banned TikTok for the failure of the popular social media app to filter out immoral content.

On Friday, a top government official said Pakistan banned TikTok since the social media app did not pay any heed to their requests to block indecent and vulgar content effectively.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, which blocked the access to the video-sharing app, issued a press release on this development.

It said that in view of “complaints” and the “nature of content being consistently posted on TikTok”, PTA had issued a “final notice” to the app.

According to the press release, TikTok was given “considerable time” to respond and comply with instructions to effectively moderate “unlawful online content”.

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

TikTok has been informed that the authority “is open for engagement” and will review its decision if it finds a “satisfactory mechanism” has been employed by the video-sharing app to moderate “unlawful content”.

Moments after the news broke, the app began to show a blank interface with no text or images loading.

Earlier the same day, another official said the relevant authorities have decided to ban the social media app. He added a formal announcement about the TikTok ban in Pakistan will be made in a few hours.

He said that Pakistan had been asking the TikTok administration to put an effective mechanism for blocking immoral and indecent content but to no avail.

He said that the popular social media platform has failed to satisfy Pakistani authorities on this count fully. Under the government decision, the TikTok app’s access will be blocked in Pakistan, he maintained.

On June 30, India’s government banned nearly 60 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok, citing national security concerns, after a deadly clash between their militaries raised tensions between the two countries to the highest level in decades.

The clashes earlier the same month, along the disputed border between the world’s two most populous countries, left 20 Indian soldiers dead and an unknown number of Chinese casualties.

The Trump administration is also trying to ban the popular Chinese app citing national security, but a US federal court has blocked its efforts to ban TikTok.

Now the Trump administration is appealing the court injunction blocking it from imposing a download ban on TikTok.

In court papers filed Thursday, the federal government asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to review a Sept 27 ruling from a US District Court judge who halted the download ban hours before it was scheduled to take effect.

President Trump ordered the ban, saying that the data TikTok collects from U.S. users could be shared with the Chinese government. TikTok has said it would never hand over such data.

In their appeal on Thursday, Justice Department lawyers didn’t say why the injunction should be lifted. US lawyers had argued previously that the federal government was trying to protect TikTok users’ personal data and stop new users from potentially putting even more data at risk.

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