In view of the number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video-sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued instructions for blocking the application.
Keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, PTA issued a final notice to the application and gave considerable time to respond and comply with the Authority instructions for the development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content. However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions, therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country.
TikTok has been informed that the Authority is open for engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content.
In 2016, Pakistan’s parliament passed the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) to regulate, among other things, content on the internet.
It gave the PTA broad powers to block content considered to be against “the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or … public order, decency or morality”.
Rights groups said PTA had blocked more than 800,000 websites and platforms from being accessed within the country.
The list of blocked websites includes pornographic platforms but has also included news outlets considered critical of the country’s security and foreign policies, some social media, and some political parties’ websites.