Saturday, January 2, 2021

Pakistani society or banned TikTok to blame for popular sex videos?

PM Imran Khan wants apps like TikTok which allow 'obscene and vulgar' content to be banned.

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Pakistan has banned the highly popular video-sharing app TikTok after receiving “a number of complaints from different segments of society about immoral and indecent content shared on the app”.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said TikTok had “failed to fully comply” with its instructions to deal more harshly with offensive videos.

Arslan Khalid, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s expert on digital media, backed the ban, tweeting, “The objectification and sexualisation of young girls on TikTok was causing huge pain to parents and proving detrimental for our society.”

However, the ban was criticised by former premier Benazir Bhutto’s daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, who tweeted, ” Immoral content is not on tiktok, it’s embedded in our sexist society where women cannot wear yoga pants on tv or drive at night, & children are picked up & assaulted. Look what’s happening in madrassas, in open public spaces – the problem is NOT tiktok.”

The video-sharing app, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, has been downloaded almost 40 million times in Pakistan.

According to TikTok, Pakistan is one of the top five markets where the most videos are removed over violations of its community guidelines.

On Sept 26, a report by The News reported information minister Shibli Faraz as saying that Imran is of the opinion that social media apps like TikTok are badly harming Pakistani society’s values and should be blocked.

Faraz said, “PM Imran is extremely concerned about the growing obscenity and vulgarity in society and has directed all the relevant sections to stop the trend before it destroys the socio-religious values of Pakistani society.”

TikTok responded to the ban saying that it is “committed to following the law” wherever the app is available. The company said, “Our top priority is “maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment”.

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