Pakistan blocks TikTok again over ‘inappropriate content’

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CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 27: The TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office on August 27, 2020 in Culver City, California. The Chinese-owned company is reportedly set to announce the sale of U.S. operations of its popular social media app in the coming weeks following threats of a shutdown by the Trump administration. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

TikTok, a popular video-sharing app, was blocked on Wednesday in Pakistan for a fourth time because of “inappropriate content”, the country’s telecommunication regulator has said.

The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities in the conservative Muslim nation and was shut down two days earlier this month on the order of a provincial court.

Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised the government’s censorship and control of Pakistan’s Internet and media.

“The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down,” the telecoms authority said in a statement.

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TikTok is yet to officially respond to the ban.

The app has a huge fan base in Pakistan, where many people use it to market and sell goods online.

However, critics of the platform in the conservative Muslim nation have long reprimanded it for its promotion of vulgarity and LGBTQ content, among others.

In June, TikTok said it had removed more than six million videos available to Pakistan users in just three months following complaints from officials and ordinary users.

Around 15 per cent of the videos removed were taken down because of “adult nudity and sexual activities”, the company said.

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