On Monday the Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered the suspension of the TikTok video-sharing app, almost after three months Pakistan lifted the restriction on TikTok, the app is going to get ban again. The SHC verdict came during a session in which the court issued a notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan and ordered him to take action on the instructions of the court and ban the app.
Raising his points in the court during arguments, the applicant’s lawyer said that the High Court of Peshawar had previously blocked TikTok because of some “immoral and anti-Islamic” videos posted on the platform.
Tiktok blocked in Pakistan for the third time till 8th July
The lawyer claimed that his client had first filed a complaint in Pakistan Telecommunications Authority but PTA didn’t take any action then he approached the Sindh High Court and submitted his petition against Tiktok.
The SHC highlighted that in view of submissions by the representative of defendant No 2, that is the PTA, the PHC removed a restriction on TikTok. However, despite numerous court orders TikTok didn’t pay attention and take any serious action. On 8 July, the SHC has summoned the parties involved in the case.
“TikTok has recently organized a media campaign which celebrates the ‘LGBT Pride Month’ which is totally against the culture of Pakistan and Islamic laws. Tiktok is not respecting the law and the fundamental injunctions of Islam as well as the culture of Pakistan.”
“Let [a] notice be issued to the defendants as well a DAG [Deputy Attorney General] Pakistan for 08.07.2021 and till then the defendant No 2 [TikTok] is hereby directed to suspend the operations of and/or access to the TikTok application in Pakistan,” Court ordered.
Besides that, several petitioners have also sought a ban on TikTok by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Ali Zeb, a resident of Pakpattan, filed a case against Tiktok at the Supreme Court and appeal for a ban. He said that Tiktok is promoting criminal behavior, using drugs and weapons in videos, and uploading those videos. Using TikTok in educational institutions is also leading to a bad environment for students.
The petitioner stated that people are also recording activities, such as a suicide attempt and death act to gain more followers and views on TikTok, whereas its content is against the Islamic laws of Pakistan.
The applicant appealed for effective policymaking, including the partial shutdown of TikTok and ordering the government to establish a content censorship mechanism.
Response from Tiktok:
In response to the current ban imposed by the SHC, Tiktok spokesperson said,
The creativity and passion of our community have brought joy to households across Pakistan and provided a home for incredibly talented creators. We have grown our local-language moderation capacity for Pakistan, and work diligently to review and take action on content in violation of our Community Guidelines. We continue to work with regulators and look forward to serving the millions of TikTok users and creators in Pakistan who have found a home for creativity, fun, and vital economic opportunities for many years to come.