Things are not getting any better for TikTok–the video-sharing app has been banned in Pakistan. According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, several complaints have been received from “different segments of the society” alleging that TikTok encourages the sharing of “immoral/indecent content”
Per Sensor Tower, TikTok has been installed 43 million times in Pakistan; making it the country TikTok’s largest market in terms of downloads. Coming only a couple of months after a similar ban was announced in India, the video-sharing app now has an uphill task to achieve in terms of improving its image globally.
In the US, there are concerns over the safety and privacy of users–with the Trump administration contemplating similar action. While the ban announced by the PTA was due to immoral/indecent content, governments in different countries will begin to question the credibility of TikTok.
“Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued instructions for blocking of the application. Keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, PTA issued a final notice to the application and gave considerable time to respond and comply with the Authority instructions for development of effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content. However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions.”
As a result of TikTok’s failure to “fully comply with the instructions,” the PTA issued instructions that the app be banned in Pakistan. This would mean that users can no longer access the app going forward.
In its reaction per The Verge, TikTok in a statement said “TikTok is an inclusive platform built upon the foundation of creative expression, and we are hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community.”
Last June, India announced that TikTok and 58 other apps will no longer be allowed to work in the country. The country announced this in a press release; a move unprecedented in the history of what now looks like a cold war between India and China.
In the press release, India’s Ministry of Information Technology said the said apps “are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”TikTok is used by over 200 million people in India, and could be the biggest loser in this latest move by the India government. TechCrunch, however, reports that all 59 banned apps are still available for download in the country on both Google Play and the Apple App Store.