PTA lifts ban on TikTok

Noor Haider
PTA lifts ban on TikTok
PTA lifts ban on TikTok

Pakistanis can now use TikTok again after a four-month ban.

Tell me more: In the past 15 months, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has imposed and lifted a ban on TikTok four times.

PTA banned TikTok for the fourth time in July this year on account of failure to remove “inappropriate content.”

Since then, PTA has been in communication with the TikTok management to discuss mechanisms for moderating content.

A meeting was also held earlier this month regarding this matter where TikTok Head of Public Policy Helena Lersch had met PTA chairperson retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa.

Now, PTA has lifted the ban after senior management of the video-sharing app has assured that they will take necessary measures to monitor the content and make sure it is in line with the local laws and norms.

The management also added that anyone who repeatedly shares unlawful content will get blocked from the platform.

Timeline, so far:

  • October 2020: TikTok banned based on “unethical content.” After heavy criticism, the ban was lifted in just ten days.
  • March 2021: Peshawar High Court banned TikTok for “immoral content.” This second ban was lifted on April 1.
  • June 2021: SHC ordered PTA to block access to the app for the third time for spreading “immorality and obscenity.” This ban was lifted three days later.
  • July 2021: TikTok banned for not removing “inappropriate content.” The longest ban so far, approaching nearly five months.

Zoom Out: Tiktok removed over 9 million videos from the Pakistani market in the last quarter, making Pakistan the second-largest market for videos removed after the United States.

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