PTA blocks TikTok again over ‘inappropriate content’

ISLAMABAD: The popular TikTok video-sharing application was blocked for a fourth time because of “inappropriate content”, the telecommunication regulator said.

The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities in the country and was shut down for two days earlier this month on the order of the Sindh High Court.

Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised creeping government censorship and control of the internet and media.

“The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in a statement issued Wednesday.

A local TikTok representative did not immediately comment.

The app has a huge fan base in Pakistan, where many people use it to market and sell goods online. But its critics say it promotes vulgarity and LGBTQ content.

In June, TikTok said it had removed more than six million videos available to Pakistan users in just three months following complaints from officials and ordinary users.

Around 15 percent of the videos removed were taken down because of “adult nudity and sexual activities”, the company said.

Officials have previously asked YouTube to block content they deem objectionable, and several dating apps are prohibited.

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