PHC lifts ban on TikTok, tells PTA to ensure objectionable content is
not uploaded

PESHAWAR, (MANEND NEWS): The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on
Thursday lifted the ban on popular video-sharing application TikTok

and directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to take
steps to ensure that “immoral content” is not uploaded to the
The court also directed PTA Director General Tariq Gandapur to submit
a detailed report at the next hearing scheduled for May 25.
Reacting to the news, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad
Chaudhry cautioned against “taking decisions that may affect the
economic future of Pakistan”.
“We need a framework to encourage international companies to make
Pakistan their investment hub,” he said on Twitter.
At the outset of the hearing, PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan
asked the PTA director general to elaborate on the action taken by the
telecom regulator.
The director general replied that the authority had taken up the issue
with the company again. He said the platform had also hired a focal
person for content policy who will monitor all objectionable and illegal
content uploaded to the platform.
“You should have a system in place to differentiate between good and
bad content,” the judge remarked. He stated that people will avoid
uploading such content on the platform if PTA takes strict action
against those that do.
“When people will learn that the PTA will take action against them,
they will not upload such things,” he said.
The PTA director general said the authority had talked to the TikTok
management regarding permanently blocking those that continually
upload such content.
“This shouldn’t be a one-time thing. You should take further steps to
stop objectionable content on TikTok,” the judge said.
PTA lawyer Jehanzeb Mehsud replied that there were some sites where
it was not possible to block a certain type of content. “The whole site
has to be blocked,” he said.

At the last hearing, the telecom regulator had informed the court that
it had blocked access to around 500,000 objectionable videos on
Meanwhile, TikTok released a statement saying that it was “pleased”
to be once again available to Pakistan. “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.
“The creativity and passion of this community has brought joy to
households across Pakistan and provided a home for incredibly
talented creators. TikTok is excited to be able to continue enabling
Pakistani voices and creativity as we work to support the success story
of Pakistan,” the statement said.
“We want to acknowledge PTA’s support and ongoing productive
dialogue, and recognise their care for the digital experience of
Pakistani users, which goes a long way in assuring a stable, enabling
environment to allow us to explore further investment in Pakistan, and
to keep open vital economic opportunities for Pakistani creators
through TikTok,” the statement concluded.
Earlier in March, the Peshawar high court bad directed the PTA to ban
the Chinese-made app in the country until some mechanism was
introduced to filter content.
Following the court order, the PTA had directed internet service
providers to immediately block public access to TikTok.
“No doubt, it is apparently mere an application just for entertainment
but over a period it has become an addiction to which mostly the
younger generation has fallen prey,” the bench had ruled in its
detailed order, adding that inspired by the TikTok application, some
teenagers reportedly committed suicide in the country.
The bench had observed that during the course of arguments some
more offensive material had been produced by the petitioners, which
was being uploaded boldly and daringly to the application.

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