TikTok to remain blocked until removal of ‘immoral content’: PHC

Tariq Saeed

The Peshawar High Court Peshawar (PHC) has on Tuesday made it clear the ban on video sharing TikTok will remain intact till the removal of immoral content “The ban will remain in place until a mechanism to monitor “immoral, vulgar, indecent, objectionable and lewd material on the application is devised”. The Peshawar High Court ordered on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, it may be recalled, had on March 11 blocked TikTok on orders of the court PHC that had observed that TikTok videos were promoting vulgarity and having negative impact upon the society.

PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan told the authorities that the ban should not be revoked till objectionable content is removed.

In a hearing on Tuesday, PTA Director General Kamran Khan told the court that the matter has been taken to the app’s headquarters in Singapore multiple times but the desired results have not been achieved yet.

He told the court since there was no TikTok office at a domestic level, the PTA feels handicapped to control or restrict the content uploaded.

The court observed that an app created merely for entertainment has “become an addiction to which mostly younger generations fall prey”. Due to these reasons, the app has been banned in other Muslim countries as well.

“Hence, we direct to ban the TikTok application unless a mechanism is devised to filter the indecent and immoral content on it”. Chief Justice Qaisar Rashid ordered. The case has been adjourned till April 6.

The video-sharing app was first blocked in Pakistan on October 9, 2020 over its “obscene and immoral” content and PTA had issued a final notice to the app and gave considerable time to respond and develop and an effective mechanism for ‘proactive moderation of unlawful online content.

Though the TikTok has failed to fully comply with the PTA’s instructions, the ban was, however, reversed after 10 days when according to PTA TikTok management had assured the authority that it will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality and moderate content in accordance with local laws.

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