Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued a "final warning" to TikTok on Monday over "immoral, obscene, and vulgar content" posted on the short-form video app, in addition to blocking Bigo Live, a live-streaming app, for the same reason.
Press Release: Number of complaints had been received from different segments of the society against immoral, obscene & vulgar content on social media applications particularly Tik Tok and Bigo, & their extremely negative effects on the society in general & youth in particular. pic.twitter.com/Zow1EuLj4N— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) July 20, 2020
ByteDance-owned TikTok is already facing problems in several countries, including Pakistan's neighbor India, which has banned TikTok and another 58 Chinese apps due to diplomatic tensions. PTA stated that it had sent notices to TikTok and Bigo Live after receiving complaints, asking them to moderate content on their platforms. Due to the response being unsatisfactory, a decision has been taken, the regulator remarked.
“PTA has decided to immediately block Bigo and issue final warning to TikTok to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control obscenity, vulgarity and immorality through its social media application.”
Both firms did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Reuters. TikTok, which has over two billion downloads worldwide, is the third-most downloaded app in Pakistan over the past year after WhatsApp and Facebook. In Pakistan, TikTok has nearly 39 million downloads, whilst Bigo Live has been downloaded over 17 million times.
The two apps are not the first to be targeted by the regulating authority in Pakistan, as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has over 16 million users in the country, was also banned this month, with PTA stating that it had received several complaints about the "addictive" nature of the game.