Pakistan’s telecom regulator has lifted a ban on TikTok following assurances by the popular Chinese video-sharing platform that it would control “immoral and indecent” contents.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had banned it in July after complaints that it was uploading and disseminating immoral contents.
“PTA has restored the services of TikTok on assurances of the platform to control immoral/indecent content,” the regulator said on Friday.
According to the PTA statement, the authority had last blocked access to the application on July 20 and since then, it had been communicating with the TikTok management on the issue.
“As a result of continuous engagement, senior management of the platform assured (the) PTA of its commitment to take necessary measures to control unlawful content in accordance with local laws and societal norms,” the statement said.
It further said that the social media company had also given the assurance of blocking the users for their continuous involvement in uploading “unlawful content” on TikTok.
“Keeping in view the(se) assurances, the authority has decided to lift the ban on TikTok forthwith,” the statement said, adding that the PTA would continue to monitor the video-sharing platform to ensure that “unlawful content, contrary to Pakistan’s law and societal values, is not disseminated”.
This is the fourth time that the PTA has lifted a ban on the platform after blocking it for various reasons.
Tik Tok was banned in Pakistan for the first time in October 2020, but it was lifted after just 10 days following an assurance by the company to block accounts “spreading obscenity”.
The Peshawar High Court in March had imposed a ban on the video-sharing application that was later lifted in April.
In June, the Sindh High Court ordered the PTA to suspend TikTok for “spreading immorality and obscenity”. The court had lifted the suspension three days after issuing the order.
The app said it removed more than six million videos in Pakistan from January to March, making the country the second market to get the most videos removed after the US.
The app, owned by China’s ByteDance, has been downloaded more than 39 million times in Pakistan.
It is popular in Pakistan but scores of youths have died so far filming various dangerous videos.