Sindh High Court bans video-sharing platform till July 8 over ‘immoral content’ and celebration of ‘LGBTQ Pride Month’
The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday ordered a ban on video-sharing platform TikTok in Pakistan over “immoral content” and for its commemoration of “LGBTQ Pride Month” in June.
Issuing the order, the SHC said the ban—the third time TikTok has been banned in Pakistan in the past two years—would continue till the next date of hearing on July 8. During the proceedings, the SHC claimed that TikTok had not adhered to earlier assurances of ensuring “appropriate content” to get previous bans reversed.
“[TikTok is not] respecting the law and the basic injunctions of Islam as well as the culture of Pakistan, has recently started a social media campaign whereby they are celebrating ‘LGBT-Pride Month,’” read the order banning it. “Let notice be issued to the defendants as well as the DAG [Deputy Attorney General] Pakistan for 08.07.2021 and till then the defendant No 2 [TikTok] is hereby directed to suspend the operations of and/or access to the TikTok application in Pakistan,” it added.
The SHC specifically cited a Peshawar High Court order that had ended a ban on TikTok earlier this year following guarantees from both the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and TikTok that no “immoral” or “objectionable” content would be available for viewing in Pakistan.
On March, the PHC had ordered the PTA to ban TikTok over “immoral content,” but had restored access after PTA assured judges the issue had been raised with TikTok’s administration, and they had agreed to expand monitoring of content posted in Pakistan. TikTok had also been banned by the PTA in October 2020, restoring it after the company assured the telecom regulator that it would block all accounts that “repeatedly” spread “obscenity and immorality.”