Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is allowing the access of TikTok for its over 43 million users in Pakistan, we have confirmed with sources.
According to details shared with ProPakistani, PTA decided to unban the video sharing platform — hugely popular among the youth — after the company assured the authorities of strict compliance with Pakistani laws.
TikTok has assured PTA that they will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality. “We will moderate the account in accordance with local laws”, a TikTok statement was quoted as saying.
PTA had banned TikTok for spreading immoral and indecent content in Pakistan, and had said that company was warned at least twice to moderate the content on the platform.
TikTok, that took the warning lightly, was ultimately blocked for not taking measures.
After the ban, however, TikTok is said to have ramped up the moderation efforts and deployed dedicated resources to moderate content that will be published in Pakistan.
We have made concerted efforts to address questions from the Government of Pakistan around their content moderation process, including significantly increasing the capacity of their local language content moderation team.
After such guarantees, PTA has now decided to unblock TikTok in the country with a condition that no explicit content should go on-air on the platform.
PTA has issued below statement on the development:
PTA Conditionally Restores TikTok Services
Islamabad (October 19, 2020) Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has restored TikTok services with certain conditions.
In view of the presence of vulgar, indecent/immoral content on the platform and its negative effects on the society, PTA has been continuously asserting TikTok to prevent its platform from disseminating the unlawful content. However, TikTok couldn’t satisfy the for taking concrete steps for blocking and removal of unlawful content. Hence, the TikTok application was blocked until a satisfactory content monitoring mechanism is put in place.
As a result of continuous engagement with the platform’s senior management before and after imposition of the ban, TikTok has assured moderating content in accordance with societal norms and the laws of Pakistan and ensured that the users who are continuously involved in uploading unlawful content are blocked from the platform.
PTA, as a facilitator to the users’ healthy digital experience on the internet and growth of digital companies, has therefore, decided to lift the ban. However, the restoration of TikTok services is strictly subject to the condition that the platform will not be used for the spread of vulgarity / indecent content and that the societal values will not be abused. PTA will be constrained to permanently block the application, in case the said condition is not fulfilled.