TikTok stops working in Pakistan as PTA blocks app

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TikTok has reportedly stopped working in the country after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed service providers to block it.

The development comes after the Peshawar High Court (PHC) ruled earlier in the day to block the video-sharing platform.

The image showing that the app, TikTok, has stopped working in Pakistan. — A screenshot from a phone. 

The video-sharing platform will remain blocked in the country till it complies with the government’s rules and regulations. The PTA had directed the country’s service providers to block users’ access to video-sharing app TikTok — in line with the court’s orders.

“In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, PTA has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App,” the PTA had said.

The orders were issued by PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, who was hearing a petition filed by a citizen seeking a ban on Tiktok.

During the hearing, the PHC CJ observed that videos uploaded on TikTok are “not acceptable for the Pakistani society”.

He added that the people that were mostly affected by TikTok were the youth.

TikTok’s response

After the PHC had ordered to ban the app, TikTok, in a statement, said that it uses a combination of technologies and moderation strategies to detect and review content that violates its terms of service and community guidelines.

“We implement penalties including removing videos and banning accounts when there are violations. Our H2 2020 Transparency Report shows that we aggressively and proactively take down inappropriate content in Pakistan,” it said.

The company said the report highlighted its commitment to complying with local laws. “In fact, we have enhanced moderation capabilities in Pakistan, with our local-language moderation team growing close to 250% since September.”

The company said it is committed to continue working closely with the PTA to further strengthen safeguards on behalf of its users. But it said it was also committed to ensuring its users’ rights to express themselves creatively on the platform — in line with company policies.

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