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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Tinder seeks ‘meaningful conversation’ with the PTA after ban

The PTA had banned Tinder and other dating apps in Pakistan, tinder has responded in a statement saying it seeks, " meaningful conversation"

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Tinder has announced that it seeks to hold a “meaningful conversation” with the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) to discuss the application’s “moderation efforts” after a ban was placed on the dating platform.

On Tuesday, the PTA blocked five dating and live streaming apps, including Tinder and Tagged, over their “negative effects” and “immoral content”. The other apps that were blocked were Skout, Grindr and SayHi.

Tinder releases statement in response to ban

In response to the announcement, Tinder released a statement stating “we welcome the opportunity to discuss our product and moderation efforts with the (PTA) and look forward to a meaningful conversation”.

“We are constantly evaluating and refining our processes, and will always work with regulators and law enforcement, where possible, to protect our members,” the statement read. Making it likely that Tinder will comply with the concerns put forth by the Pakistan telecommunication authority.

Tinder further explained that the company uses a network of industry-leading automated and manual moderation and review tools, systems and processes – and invests significant resources – to prevent, monitor and remove inappropriate content from the app.

Read more: PTA bans Tinder and five other dating apps citing ‘immoral content’

The PTA, in a press release on Tuesday, had announced that it had blocked the app stating that it had “failed to moderate content in accordance with the law of Pakistan”. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority also had banned the other apps for the same reason. The other apps have not as of yet responded.

PTA had accused the management of apps, adding that the management of the companies didn’t respond to the notices within the stipulated time so the authority has issued orders to block the apps.

The telecom regulator, however, said that it could reconsider its decision if the management of the companies assures adherence to local laws.

Other sites have been unblocked before

Pakistan’s telecom regulator has been actively monitory social media platforms in the country and making efforts to moderate the content that it deems “immoral” or “obscene”.

In July, the PTA banned Bigo citing complaints from people regarding “immoral, obscene and vulgar” content on it. It, however, unblocked the website after a week after a meeting between PTA officials and Bigo’s Vice President Jhon Zhang.

TikTok was issued a similar notice in July. The video sharing app was given a final warning to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control “obscenity, vulgarity and immorality through its social media platform”.

PUBG, the online game, was temporarily blocked by the telecom regulator on July 1. It was blocked because, the PTA said, it received complaints against the game saying it is addictive and a waste of time.

The ban of PUBG was lifted on July 30 a week after the Islamabad High Court ordered the authorities to remove the ban.

Other apps under PTA scrutiny

In July, the government authority issued a “final warning” to TikTok over “immoral, obscene and vulgar content” found on the app.

Last week, the regulator said it had met with senior management of TikTok and noted that while the app had taken down indecent content, it should put in place stronger content moderating to make sure “unlawful material” isn’t accessible in Pakistan.

PUBG, a gaming app had also previously been banned. It was un-banned after discussions with the gaming firm and the PTA.

GVS News Desk