Video-sharing platform had been blocked since July 20 over ‘immoral and indecent’ content
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday announced it was restoring access to TikTok following assurances from the video-sharing platform to “control immoral/indecent content.”
The most recent ban—the fourth in the past year—was imposed on July 20. The PTA had originally blocked the Chinese-owned app in October 2020 over complaints of “indecent and immoral” content. The ban was lifted 10 days later after the company said it would block accounts “spreading obscenity.” The second ban occurred in March on the orders of the Peshawar High Court. It was lifted in April. The third ban came in June on the orders of the Sindh High Court and was lifted just three days later.
“Subsequent to imposition of ban on July 20, the PTA remained in communications with the TikTok management,” read a statement issued by the telecommunications watchdog. “As a result of continuous engagement, senior management of the platform assured PTA of its commitment to take necessary measures to control unlawful content in accordance with local laws and societal norms,” it added.
According to the PTA, TikTok had assured it that users who continuously upload “unlawful” content would be blocked from the platform and had decided to lift the ban “in view of the assurances.”
The watchdog stressed, however, that it would continue to monitor the platform to “ensure that unlawful content contrary to Pakistan’s law and societal values is not disseminated.”
According to TikTok Pakistan’s latest transparency report, covering the period from January to March, it removed over six million videos that violated local laws. “In the Pakistani market, TikTok removed 6,495,992 videos making it the second market to get the most videos removed after the USA, where 8,540,088 videos were removed,” it said.