Pakistan Bans PUBG, BIGO App, Now Warns TikTok Social
After imposing a ban on online game PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG), the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has banned live streaming application BIGO sleep in the country.
it’s also issued a final warning to social media application TikTok over “obscene” and “immoral” content on the platforms.
According to a press release issued by the PTA on Monday, the action to ban BIGO LIVE and warning to TikTok was taken after complaints were received from different segments of the society against immoral, obscene and vulgar content witnessed on various social media applications, particularly TikTok and BIGO LIVE.
“PTA had issued necessary notices to the aforementioned social media companies under law to moderate the socialisation and content within legal and moral limits, in accordance with the laws of the country,” read the statement.
The PTA maintained that the response from these companies did not satisfy the authorities, prompting action against the applications.
“Therefore, in exercise of its powers under PECA, the PTA has decided to right away block BIGO and issue a final warning to TikTok to place in situ a comprehensive mechanism to regulate obscenity, vulgarity and immorality through its social media application,” the statement said.
The move comes at a time when a civil miscellaneous application was filed within the Lahore supreme court , demanding an instantaneous ban on TikTok. The petitioner contended that the app was an excellent mischief of recent times, and had become a source of spreading vulgarity, pornography and immoral content by youngsters for the sake of fame on social media.
Earlier in July, the PTA imposed an entire ban on online gaming site PUBG, after cases of suicide were reported from various parts of the country, with youngsters allegedly taking their own lives for failing to finish a PUBG game level and task.
In a statement, the PTA maintained that it had received complaints about the sport being addictive, a waste of your time and about its potential negative impact on children’s physical and psychological health.
However, the PTA’s ban on PUBG has been challenged through multiple petitions filed within the courts, pleading that there’s no legal basis for a computer game to be censored. Digital rights groups say that the PTA has not cited any legal provision for going ahead with the ban.
However, the PTA defended its action, citing Section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, which provides it authority to dam “unlawful online content”.
Interestingly, the PTA’s ban on social media sites and applications is opposed by Federal Minister of Science and Technologiy Fawad Chaudhry, who maintains that “such bans are killing tech industry”.
“Well, i’m against all types of general bans… such attitude is killing tech industry, we cannot afford such bans,” he said.
Chaudhry expressed hope that the IT Ministry would notice of the ban and therefore the PTA would be directed to not encourage such restrictions, adding that it might cause harm to the event of national technology on a long-term basis.