Pakistani court orders govt to ban TikTok over ‘obscene content’

Islamabad: The Peshawar High Court has ordered Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ban TikTok, a Chinese short-video app, for “spreading obscenity in society”.

According to the Dawn, PHC Chief Justice Rashid Khan on Thursday gave the order while hearing a petition against the social media platform.

PTA Director Kamran Gandapur and deputy attorney generals Amir Javed and Asghar Kundi were also present in court.

Such videos ‘unacceptable for Pakistani society’

Justice Khan said videos being uploaded to TikTok were “unacceptable for Pakistani society”. “TikTok is affecting most of the youth. Reports being received about the platform in Peshawar are sad,” he said.

He remarked that the videos were “spreading obscenity” and thus the platform should be immediately closed. He questioned whether the closure would hurt the platform, to which Gandapur responded in the affirmative.

The PTA director said the authority had sent a request to TikTok officials but had not yet received a “positive response”.

Court order

“TikTok should be closed down unless their officials comply with your request and cooperate with you to prevent immoral content,” said Justice Khan. “It will be closed until your request is processed,” the court said.

The chief justice inquired where the offices of TikTok were located to which he was told that the platform had no office in Pakistan, its head office was in Singapore and it was controlled from Dubai.

TikTok was banned in October in Pakistan after repeated warnings by PTA over alleged ‘unethical content’. However, the PTA later restored TikTok with conditions and warnings that it adhere to the laws of the country, the platform should not be used for spreading vulgarity/indecent content, and values of society should also not be abused.

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