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Pakistan bans TikTok over ‘immoral content’

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Pakistan on Friday banned the wildly popular video- sharing app TikTok , as authorities press their clampdown on “ immoral ” content .
Chinese- owned TikTok which has become a global sensation with its short video clips has a huge user base among young Pakistanis , with some attracting millions of followers .
But it has come up against backlash in the ultra- conservative Islamic country , where in recent months several dating apps including Tinder and Grindr have also been banned and YouTube threatened with shutdown .
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on Friday said TikTok had failed to adhere to two warnings , which had demanded it block “ immoral , obscene and vulgar” content .
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“ The application failed to fully comply with the instructions, therefore , directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country ” , the PTA said in a statement .
Pakistanis were unable to access the app on Friday evening .
Arslan Khalid , a digital media adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan , has previously claimed the “ exploitation , objectification & sexualization of young girls on TikTok ” was causing pain to parents .
Earlier this week , Pakistani TikToker Jannat Mirza became the first in the country to reach 10 million followers , with lip -syncing and slow -motion clips among her content .
“ TikTok is a major source of entertainment for lower and middle -class Pakistanis , as well as illiterate citizens that include half the population as it is video-based and easy to use, ” said Usama Khilji , a digital rights activist , who said the ban violates freedom of speech.
Akhlaq Ahmed , who ran a TikTok account with friends from the remote town of Jhal Magsi in Balochistan province , said the news was like “ losing someone from my family” .
“ The ban is unfair and unjustified … instead of banning the app the PTA should have called on TikTok to ban those users,” he said of the “ immoral” content .Campaigners have long criticized the creeping censorship and control of Pakistan ’ s internet , printed and electronic media.
PTA said it would review its decision if the app put in place mechanisms to moderate unlawful content .
In a statement , TikTok said it was “ hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us serve the country ’ s vibrant and creative online community ” .
The app was blocked in Bangladesh last year as part of a clampdown on pornography , while Indonesia briefly blocked access over blasphemy concerns .
Owned by China ’ s ByteDance, it has also faced increasing controversy over how it collects and uses data although it has repeatedly denied sharing user information with Chinese authorities .
The app is facing a possible ban in the United States after officials said it was a national security risk and President Donald Trump said he wanted it taken out of Chinese hands .
Neighbouring India has already banned the app , along with dozens of other Chinese mobile platforms .

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