According to a report by India Today on November 20, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) lifted the country’s ban on TikTok on November 19, following assurances by the popular Chinese video-sharing platform that it would work to control “immoral and indecent” content.
According to the PTA statement, the authority had last blocked access to the application on July 20, since which it had been communicating with the TikTok management on the issue. “As a result of continuous engagement, senior management of the platform assured the PTA of its commitment to take necessary measures to control unlawful content in accordance with local laws and societal norms,” the statement said.
This is the fourth time in the past 15 months that PTA lifted a ban on the platform after blocking it for various reasons. TikTok was banned in Pakistan for the first time in October 2020, but it was allowed again after just 10 days, following an assurance by the company to block accounts “spreading obscenity.”
ByteDance’s TikTok has been downloaded nearly 39 million times in Pakistan, which proves its popularity among teenagers and young people. Pakistan has been urging TikTok to develop an effective mechanism to control what it declares to be illegal content.
According to Gadgets Now, an American technology information website, Pakistan has over the years expressed complaints about “offensive content” on Facebook and Twitter. In 2018, Pakistan banned YouTube due to problems authorities had with its content.