Pakistan on Friday banned the wildly popular video-sharing app TikTok, as authorities press their clampdown on “immoral” content. Chinese-owned TikTok which has become a global sensation with its short video clips has a huge user base among young Pakistanis, with some attracting millions of followers.
But it has come up against backlash in the ultra-conservative Islamic country, where in recent months several dating apps including Tinder and Grindr have also been banned and YouTube threatened with shutdown. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on Friday said TikTok had failed to adhere to two warnings, which had demanded it block “immoral, obscene and vulgar” content.
Pakistanis were unable to access the app on Friday evening. “TikTok is a major source of entertainment for lower and middle-class Pakistanis, as well as illiterate citizens that include half the population as it is video-based and easy to use,” said Usama Khilji, a digital rights activist, who said the ban violates freedom of speech.