Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has expressed anger over the decision to ban internet apps in Pakistan.
He took to Twitter and said, “Courts and PTA must stay away from moral policing and Ban Approach, such bans on internet-based Apps ll destroy Pak tech industry and development of technology ll be permanently hampered.”
“We are still not out of woods b/o judges ill-advised interference in economic matters,” he added.
Note that, while the government is banning online ‘immoral’ content, digital rights experts and social media users have called the recent ban on digital applications a threat to the creative expression of young people deprived of entertainment.
The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) announced in a statement that it had issued a “final warning” to the video-sharing service TickTalk to remove ‘obscene and immoral content’.
The regulatory authority said it had stopped live streaming of the app because it had received numerous complaints about the app, saying it was having a “very negative effect” on society, especially young people.
According to analyst firm Sensor Tower, TikTok, owned by Chinese ByteDance company, has been downloaded about 39 million times in Pakistan, making it the third most downloaded app last year after WhatsApp and Facebook.
Bigo Live has been downloaded 17 million times in Pakistan and is the 19th most downloaded app in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s digital media focal person Arsalan Khalid supported the move, saying tough measures were needed because platforms did not understand the nuances of the situation.
He wrote on the social networking site Twitter, “The recent exploitation of female tick tockers, the objectification & sexualization of young girls on tik tok was causing a huge pain to the parents & was proving detrimental for our society .Tik Tok is being given final warning to work on their filters stopping obscene content.”
The recent exploitation of female tick tockers, the objectification & sexualization of young girls on tik tok was causing huge pain to the parents & was proving detrimental for our society .Tik Tok is being given final warning to work on their filters stopping obscene content pic.twitter.com/bjAHPZCk2J
— Dr Arslan Khalid (@arslankhalid_m) July 20, 2020
Tik Tok has not commented on the matter.
Interestingly, TikTok said it deleted more than 49 million videos from the platform that violated the rules between July and December 2019, with one-third of those videos being nude or sexually explicit.