Pakistan restores TikTok, says it needs to crack down on video nasties, and anything else outside 'societal norms'

App promises to curb behaviour but this might be about control than morals


Pakistan has allowed TikTok to resume operations within its borders.

A Monday Twitter thread from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said that it engaged with senior TikTok management and come away satisfied it can restore access to the app “with certain conditions”.

Those conditions include “moderating content in accordance with the societal norms and the laws of Pakistan” and blocking “users who are continuously involved in uploading unlawful content”.

The Authority says TikTok has agreed to those conditions, so it decided to restore service.

Pakistan has fought similar battles with just about every substantial web giant and social network and nearly always decided to let them back in. Which lets the nation’s government show it is responsive to segments of the population that care about guarding the nation’s morals.

However, in the case of TikTok and other recent bans, commentators increasingly suggest that bans have more to do with silencing dissent than preventing video nasties.

Rest of World, a not-for-profit chronicler of tech in the developing world, last week pointed out that TikTok has hosted many videos mocking Pakistani politicians and that those same elected representatives are not exactly friendly to the concept of press freedom. ®

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