Ban on TikTok won’t be lifted until ‘unlawful’ content removed: PTA

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The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) informed the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday that it won’t lift the ban on TikTok until unlawful contents were removed from the popular video-sharing mobile app and a mechanism for ‘proactive content moderation’ was introduced in the country by its operator.

In a report submitted to a bench consisting of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar, the PTA said it had issued instructions to the TikTok company under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, and the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards Rules, 2020, to take concrete steps to remove unlawful contents from the app.

It added that on the failure of the TikTok to comply with the instructions, it blocked the app in the country through an order on July 20, 2021.

The bench was hearing a petition jointly filed by 40 residents of Peshawar, who sought orders for the respondents, including PTA and Federal Investigation Agency, to ban TikTok to the extent of the violation of the constitutional provisions, which don’t allow acts contrary to Islamic code of life in the country.