Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday lifted the ban on the social media application, TikTok but directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to regulate the content and remove any objectionable content from the video-sharing application.
The court also asked PTA to ensure no objectionable content is uploaded on the application. The court also directed PTA Director General Tariq Gandapur to submit a detailed report in the next hearing scheduled for May 25.
PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid asked the PTA director-general to elaborate the plan and actions taken by the regulator.
Director-General informed that PTA had taken up the issue with the company again adding that the social media app has hired a focal person for content policy who will monitor all objectionable and illegal content uploaded to the platform.
“You should have a system in place to differentiate between good and bad content,” the judge remarked. He added that strong actions by PTA will deter people from uploading such content on the platform.
“When people will learn that the PTA will take action against them, they will not upload such things,” he said.
PTA director-general said the authority had talked to TikTok to permanently block those who continue to upload such content.
“This shouldn’t be a one-time thing. You should take further steps to stop objectionable content on TikTok,” the judge said.
PTA lawyer Jehanzeb Mehsud said that there were some sites where it was not possible to block a certain type of content. “The whole site has to be blocked,” he said.
In the last hearing, the telecom regulator had informed that it had permanently blocked access to 500,000 objectionable content videos on TikTok.
PHC TikTok ban: Happy to be back in Pakistan
Meanwhile, TikTok has expressed delight for being restored in Pakistan. In its statement, it said, “This is a testament to TikTok’s continued commitment to enforcing our community guidelines to promote a safe and positive community online,” a spokesperson for the platform said.
“The creativity and passion of this community has brought joy to households across Pakistan and provided a home for incredibly talented creators. TikTok is excited to be able to continue enabling Pakistani voices and creativity as we work to support the success story of Pakistan,” the statement said.
“We want to acknowledge PTA’s support and ongoing productive dialogue, and recognize their care for the digital experience of Pakistani users, which goes a long way in assuring a stable, enabling environment to allow us to explore further investment in Pakistan, and to keep open vital economic opportunities for Pakistani creators through TikTok,” the statement concluded.
Back in March, PHC had ordered to ban the application unless mechanisms were introduced to filter the content.