Pakistan has lifted a second ban imposed on TikTok over “immoral and unethical” content after the popular video-sharing app again offered to moderate uploads.
A court in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month ordered the communications regulator to block the app over videos it deemed contrary to the conservative country’s moral values.
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“Immoral” content according to the government’s definition includes nudity, blasphemy and obscenities.
“When people realize the PTA will take action against them they will no longer upload such videos,” Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan said during the hearing.
On March 11 the court had ordered the app be blocked in the country based on a petition alleging it had obscene content. The court will continue hearing the case on May 25.
TikTok welcomed the removal of the ban.
“We are pleased that TikTok is once again available to our community in Pakistan,” it said in a statement, adding that it is committed “to promote a safe and positive community online”.
“We want to acknowledge Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s support and ongoing productive dialogue, and recognize their care for the digital experience of Pakistani users,” TikTok said in a statement issued on Thursday after the court ordered the ban be lifted.
Freedom of speech advocates have long criticised the creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet and printed and electronic media.
Last year, Pakistani regulators had asked YouTube to immediately block all videos they consider “objectionable” from being accessed in the country, a demand criticised by rights campaigners.
Pakistan and China are close allies in the region.
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