Block 'vulgar' content in Pakistan, telecoms regulator tells TikTok

TikTok's logo is displayed outside its office in Culver City, US on Aug. 27, 2020. (AFP/File)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Block 'vulgar' content in Pakistan, telecoms regulator tells TikTok

  • Says has approached TikTok to immediately block “objectionable content” and prevent use of platform “for disseminating illegal content”
  • TikTok says Pakistan one of five markets in the world with the largest volume of videos removed due to breach of community guidelines and terms of service

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has asked short-form video app “TikTok” to immediately block content it deems “vulgar” and “indecent” from being viewed in Pakistan.
Last month Pakistan blocked five dating apps, namely Tinder, Tagged, Skout, Grinder and SayHi. On July 21, PTA said it had banned the Singaporean live-streaming app Bigo over “immoral, obscene and vulgar content” and issued a last warning to Tiktok for “similar” reasons.  Bigo was subsequently unbanned. The hugely popular online game PUBG also remained banned in Pakistan through July.
On Thursday, PTA said it had approached TikTok to immediately block “objectionable content” available on its platform in Pakistan and prevent the use of its platform “for disseminating illegal content.”
“PTA has done so keeping in view the negative effects of indecent/immoral/nude content available on the platform,” PTA said in statement. “In addition, the platform has been directed to put in place an effective content monitoring and moderation mechanism to proactively remove Indecent/immoral content failing which necessary action will be taken under the law.”
PTA did not say what actions it would take if TikTok did not comply with its orders.
In August, the PTA chairman attended an online meeting with senior management of TikTok and shared “growing concerns” in Pakistan over content available on the platform.
“Chairman PTA asked the platform to put in place stronger content monitoring and moderation mechanism so that the unlawful material is not accessible/viewed within Pakistan,” an August 28 statement by PTA said.
Last month TikTok said in its transparency report that Pakistan was one of five markets in the world with the largest volume of videos removed due to breach of community guidelines and terms of service.
“In the recent release of its Transparency Report, TikTok shared the global volume of videos removed for violating its Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, which showed that Pakistan is one of the five markets with the largest volume of removed videos,” the app had said in a statement. “This demonstrates TikTok’s commitment to remove any potentially harmful or inappropriate content reported in Pakistan.”


Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

Updated 24 October 2020

Pakistan condemns deadly attack at education center in Kabul

  • Daesh reportedly claim responsibility for attack on educational center in western Kabul
  • Uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing intra-Afghan peace talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has condemned the suicide attack that killed at least 18 people at an educational center in the Afghan capital on Saturday.

The attack happened late afternoon at the center which offers higher education training in a western district of Kabul. At least 57 people were injured in the attack, the interior ministry said. According to media reports, Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault in a post on Telegram.

"Pakistan condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhuman terrorist attack outside an educational center in Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will continue to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan."

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb killed nine civilians east of Kabul. Officials blamed the Taliban for the roadside attack.

An uptick in deadly violence has been observed in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to yield a lasting peace and end decades of conflict in the war-torn country.

The Taliban have been accused of increasing violence to wield leverage in the negotiations.

On Friday, rights group Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in attacks in the preceding week, accusing the Taliban and Kabul of failing to protect civilians.