Pakistan warns video-sharing app TikTok over 'unethical content'

Pakistan warns video-sharing app TikTok over 'unethical content'


Pakistan has issued a final warning to Chinese-owned social media app TikTok for shutting down "immoral, pornographic and obscene" content on video-sharing platforms.


Tiktak has become a global sensation with its 15 to 60-second video clips and has become very popular among young Pakistanis, with some users having millions of followers.

The app has backfired in the deeply traditional Islamic country, accusing critics of spreading nudity and pornography.

The Telecommunications Authority of Pakistan (PTA) has announced that it is blocking another application Bigo and has received numerous complaints about Tiktok "having a serious negative impact on society and especially the youth".

The company said in a statement on Monday that it had already issued a notice to release liberal content before issuing a final warning order filter to prevent "pornography, obscenity, and immorality".

Arslan Khalid, Prime Minister Imran Khan's digital media adviser, welcomed the decision, saying parents were suffering because of "the exploitation, objection and sexual exploitation of young women in Seatac".

A TicTac spokesman told AFP that the platform deleted more than 3.7 million videos that violated the standards in Pakistan between July 1 and December 31 last year.

A spokesman for Tikotok said, "We are committed to further strengthening our security measures to ensure the safety of our customers, but with the authorities to explain our policies and demonstrate our commitment to consumer safety", a Tikotok spokeswoman said.

Nighat Dodd, a lawyer who trains women in digital security, told AFP that pornographic complaints were vague and often targeted at women, and praised the app for allowing people to express themselves in ways they could not do in public.

The Telecom Authority has announced that it is blocking the less popular Singapore-based live-streaming app Bigo Live from its content.

TickTalk, owned by China's Bite Dance, has been embroiled in controversy over how it collects and uses data, although it has repeatedly denied sharing consumer information with Chinese authorities.

Neighboring India, along with dozens of other Chinese mobile platforms, has banned the app in view of a similar move with the US on national security and privacy issues.

In Pakistan - China's closest ally - no privacy issues have been raised.

Bangladesh also banned the app last year as part of its crackdown on pornography, while Indonesia has temporarily banned blasphemy concerns.

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