Monday Oct 19, 2020
KARACHI: Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok has been restored in Pakistan after it assured the authorities it would “block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality”.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said in a statement on Monday that the app has been unblocked in the country.
It had earlier been banned on October 9 for failing to filter out "immoral and indecent" content.
The telecom regulator had said that the decision to ban the app was taken after the authority received a number of "complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video sharing application."
“TikTok is being unlocked after assurance from management that they will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality,” read the PTA statement.
"TikTok will moderate the account in accordance with local laws."
According to sources, the company has assured the authorities that it will take steps to control "indecent and immoral" on the app.
"We're pleased to see that the TikTok app has been unblocked in Pakistan," the company's spokesperson said in a statement circulated on Monday evening.
"We appreciate the PTA's commitment to ongoing productive dialogue and recognize their care for the digital experience of Pakistani users. At TikTok, we're committed to enforcing our Community Guidelines and complying with local laws in all markets in which we operate, as these are pillars of our work to promote a safe and positive community online," it added.
"The creativity and passion of this community has brought joy to households across Pakistan and opened vital economic opportunities to incredibly talented creators, and we're excited to be able to continue enabling Pakistani voices and creativity as we work to support the success story of Pakistan."
According to an earlier report, the commitment by the company was made in a meeting with PTA officials, after which the regulator unbanned the application.
TikTok had on Saturday expressed disappointment that its users and creators in Pakistan were still unable to access the video-sharing platform despite the company's efforts to engage with the country's telecom regulator.
According to a TikTok spokesperson, the video-sharing app kept engaging with the PTA to demonstrate its commitment to comply with local laws and further enhance its content moderation capacity.
The spokesperson had said that TikTok had made “concerted efforts to address questions from the Pakistani government around their content moderation process”.
“TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and joy, and that's just what we've done in Pakistan. We've built a community whose creativity and passion has brought joy to households across Pakistan and opened vital economic opportunities to incredibly talented creators,” it said.
“We continue to hope that our productive dialogue with the PTA can bring assurance of the Government's commitment to a stable, enabling environment whereby we can explore investing further in the market, including in the inspiring talent we've seen thrive on TikTok.”