Tiktok users in Pakistan will no longer be able to access the app after the Peshawar High Court issued an order banning the short-lived video-sharing platform in the country. According to Al Jazeera, Ary News TV and other local media, the court made the ruling at a hearing in a petition against the app. TikTok had around 33 million users in Pakistan (out of a total of 100 million users) last month, App Annie said. TechCrunch. After receiving the court order, the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) released a statement on Twitter confirming that it had instructed service providers “to immediately block access to the TikTok app” in compliance.
In abiding by the orders of the High Court of Peshawar, PTA has issued instructions to service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok app. During a case hearing today, the PHC ordered the application to be blocked.
– PTA (@PTAofficialpk) March 11, 2021
Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan said the TikTok videos “peddle vulgarity in society.” Ary News TV written, and that the platform hosts unethical and immoral content. He also ruled that the app should remain blocked until TikTok cooperates with authorities after PTA told the court it approached the company to have “objectionable and indecent” content removed to no avail.
In a statement sent to Al Jazeera, a spokesperson defended the platform and its moderation practices:
“TikTok is built on the foundation of creative expression, with strong safeguards in place to prevent inappropriate content from getting off the platform.
In Pakistan, we have expanded our local language moderation team and implemented mechanisms to report and remove content that violates our community guidelines. We look forward to continuing to serve the millions of TikTok users and creators in Pakistan who have found a home for creativity and fun. “
This isn’t the first time the app has been banned in the country, which recently rolled out digital laws that give regulators the power to censor content. As Financial Times Note, the new laws require companies to remove offensive content, including content that threatens “Pakistan’s integrity, security and defense.” The first time TikTok was banned This was before the new laws were released, however, after authorities decided it was hosting “immoral and indecent” videos. That said, PTA survey the ban a few days later after TikTok promised to moderate the clips according to “societal standards” and Pakistani laws.