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SHC orders ban on TikTok till 8th July in Pakistan

Sindh High Court has ordered a ban on TikTok until July 8th. The ban came as objectionable content was being uploaded on the social media platform that was considered immoral and against the teachings of Islam.

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Sindh High Court (SHC) orders a ban on the video-sharing application, TikTok, just three months after the application’s countrywide ban was lifted. The ban has been promulgated until the next hearing on July 8th.

The decision came through the hearing in which the court issued a notice to the attorney general of Pakistan and directed him to follow the orders and block the application.

The lawyer of the petitioner in his argument mentioned that Peshawar High Court had earlier banned the application after some objectionable videos were uploaded on the platform that was considered immoral and against the teachings of Islam.

The lawyer added that his client had contacted Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) before reaching out to the high court in this regard.

Read more: TikTok blocked 8 million objectionable videos, accounts from Pakistan

Sindh High Court in its detailed order said that TikTok did not abide by the “the constant undertakings and assurances” given by the platform to other courts and PTA to stop the spread of vulgarity in Pakistan.

The platform also failed to respect the basic injunction of Islam and culture of Pakistan and “recently started a social media campaign whereby they are celebrating ‘LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Pride Month'”, the order added.

A similar application was filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ban TikTok in Pakistan. Ali Zeb, the complainant said that TikTok has a source of promoting crime in society. He added that people have been uploading videos with guns and drugs on the platform. The use of TikTok by the students in educational institutes is harming them.

Moreover, to grab attention people have been uploading voice recordings of their suicide notes, and overall the content is against the teachings of Islam.

 

The petitioner demanded a ban on the application until government develops a mechanism to regulate and control the content on the application.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry urges authorities ‘be careful’ while banning apps like TikTok

Peshawar High Court asks for strict regulation of TikTok

In April, Peshawar High Court had lifted the ban from the application but had directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to regulate the content and remove any objectionable content from the video-sharing application.

The court also asked PTA to ensure no objectionable content is uploaded on the application. The court also directed PTA Director General Tariq Gandapur to submit a detailed report in the next hearing scheduled for May 25.

PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid asked the PTA director-general to elaborate on the plan and actions taken by the regulator.

 

Director-General informed that PTA had taken up the issue with the company again adding that the social media app has hired a focal person for content policy who will monitor all objectionable and illegal content uploaded to the platform.

Read more: Op-ed: Banning TikTok will do more harm than good

TikTok had expressed delight for being restored in Pakistan. In its statement, it said, “This is a testament to TikTok’s continued commitment to enforcing our community guidelines to promote a safe and positive community online,” a spokesperson for the platform said.

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