TikTok has been banned in Pakistan after the country’s telecom regulator deemed that it had failed to filter out “immoral and indecent” content.
It is the latest blow for the beleaguered social media platform, which back in June was banned in India after that country said it had received reports that TikTok and other Chinese apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data.”
The app, which is owned by China-based ByteDance, also faces a potential ban in the US over concerns about user privacy.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said that its ban would be in place until TikTok introduced a mechanism that would moderate unlawful content, adding that it has received “complaints from different segments of the society against immoral and indecent content on the video sharing application.”
TikTok, meanwhile, has said that it is “committed to following the law in markets where the app is offered.”
“We have been in regular communication with the PTA and continue to work with them,” the company said. “We are hopeful to reach a conclusion that helps us continue to serve the country’s vibrant and creative online community.”
But the move by Pakistan, an ally of China, raises questions about the company’s future given growing scrutiny of the app by world government’s for a variety of reasons, ranging from nudity to privacy.
“This is not a contained issue. That Pakistan, of any country, raised this issue could have a brush fire effect with other countries looking at TikTok’s content,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told The Post.
“This is a move that will be front and center within 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he added. “I think TikTok is going to start to be held to the same standards as more regulated platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others.”
Justice Department lawyers said in a Thursday court filing that they plan to challenge the Sept. 27 ruling that temporarily blocked the government’s move to boot TikTok from US app stores.
The app filed its lawsuit in August after President Trump moved to ban it over concerns that its user data could be shared with the Chinese government, arguing the “heavily politicized” move was made without due process.
TikTok has said it has never provided user data to China and that it would not do so if asked, saying in a statement that it has “no higher priority than promoting a safe app experience that protects our users’ privacy.”