"the PHC has ordered for the blocking of App.”
Pakistan is set to ban the popular social media app TikTok for the second time following a court order.
According to Khurram Mehran, a spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Peshawar High Court is ordering the ban following a private complaint.
The complaint said that TikTok, owned by China-based company ByteDance, was spreading indecent content.
According to local media reports, Peshawar HC’s Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan described some of TikTok’s videos as “unacceptable for Pakistani society”.
Khan also said the videos were “peddling vulgarity”.
Therefore, the High Court ordered the PTA to ban TikTok on Thursday, March 11, 2021.
In an interview with Reuters, Mehran said that the company has agreed to moderate TikTok accounts, complying with local laws.
The PTA has also taken to Twitter to announce their compliance following the court order.
The tweet came on Thursday, March 11, 2021.
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. During the hearing of a case today, the PHC has ordered for the blocking of App.
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) March 11, 2021
In the tweet, the PTA said:
“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.
“During the hearing of a case today, the PHC has ordered for the blocking of App.”
TikTok’s representative in Pakistan has said he has heard of the court order.
According to him, the company will be issuing a comment in due course.
TikTok has been one of Pakistan’s most downloaded apps, following fellow social media and private messaging apps WhatsApp and Facebook.
According to a report from TechCrunch, TikTok had around 33 million Pakistani users as of February 2021.
The report came on Friday, March 12, 2021.
The app has gained popularity in a very short period of time. It allows users to post short, entertaining videos of themselves on the platform.
However, TikTok has also caused controversy in a number of countries over the decency of its content.
Authorities have also been raising privacy and security concerns, due to the app’s links with China.
Despite this, TikTok has denied that its ties to China pose a concern for security in other countries.
Pakistan previously banned the app in October 2020.
However, the country restored it just ten days after TikTok vowed to block all accounts involved in spreading “obscenity and immorality”.
This highlighted concerns over national security amid the country’s border tensions with China.