Pakistan overturns ban on TikTok after promises of improved moderation practices

The ban was ordered after TikTok failed to comply with local content laws.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: TikTok

Pakistan has overturned its ban on TikTok after receiving assurances from the video-sharing platform that it would improve its moderation practices to comply with local laws.

According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), TikTok met with government representatives last week to discuss the ban and provided proposed actions to stop inappropriate content from being shared to Pakistani users.

"TikTok has assured moderating content in accordance with societal norms and the laws of Pakistan and ensured that the users who are continuously involved in uploading unlawful content are blocked from the platform," the PTA said. 

The uplifting of the ban is conditional, however, with the PTA dictating that TikTik would be permanently banned if it continued to spread indecent content to users.

The ban on TikTok, enforced on October 9, arose after the PTA received complaints about the type of content that was being shared on the platform. 

"In view of a number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video-sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued instructions for blocking of the application," it wrote.

In late August, a video of a man dying by suicide was posted on Facebook. The graphic video spread across other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, but it continued to appear on TikTok weeks later as the app struggled to remove the horrific content.

The PTA at the time had asked TikTok to "block the vulgar, indecent, and immoral content for viewership in Pakistan".
While TikTok has been restored in Pakistan, it continues to be banned in India, along with hundreds of other Chinese apps. 

The Indian ban was sparked by a military clash between Indian and Chinese forces on the two countries' border in June. The clashes resulted in at least 20 Indian soldier deaths, and more than 75 injured.

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