On 9th October 2020, Pakistan introduced a ban on the famous TikTok app by the Government of Pakistan as several angry citizens had lodged complaints related to this Chinese application. The app was criticized for spreading indecent and vulgar content among teenagers.
However, Pakistan wasn’t the first country to do that, previously, Indonesia and Bangladesh have also banned the app due to highly unethical content. India has also banned the application due to increasing tension between Beijing and New Delhi on the situation of the Ladakh border. U.S President Trump also attempted to ban the app due to the risk of privacy and has given threats to the Chinese owners.
However, just after 10 days of the ban, on Monday 19th October 2020 the Government of Pakistan announced to abolish the ban on TikTok. They said that the decision was changed after receiving assurance from the Chinese officials that the social media platform will review its policies and will moderate the content according to the laws of the country.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also told that they had warned ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company to restrict such accounts and videos that promote indecency, however, TikTok didn’t take any action nor released any statement. TikTok has 20 million active users in Pakistan and is widely popular in the country, but the higher authorities released a statement saying that the app which was a place of fun and entertainment, is now promoting the sexualization of young girls and has been filled with vulgar item song numbers and dark memes.
Pakistan is 12th Largest Market Place of TikTok:
Pakistan is TikTok’s 12th largest market with approximately 43 million downloads according to the information by Sensor Tower. But in the first 6 months of 2020, up to 6.4 million videos had been removed by TikTok itself, making Pakistan the 3rd country for the removal of videos due to violating the platform’s community policies.
PTA also stated that even though the ban is now lifted from the app, however, there’s a possibility that it could be banned in the future if TikTok’s authorities will not fulfill their promise of moderating the content and blocking of such accounts that promote immoral content.
TikTok then released a statement in which they welcomed this decision of lifting the ban. The users might see heavier moderation and filtration from now on.
TikTok is a popular social media platform but recently it has been under the radar of many countries due to the above-stated reasons. I think that such bans and threats will hinder the growth and prosperity of the Chinese app and the authorities should look into these matters immediately.