TikTok is back in Pakistan following ban due to 'unlawful content'

TikTok has promised to respect local social norms.

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TikTok logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pakistan is removing its ban on TikTok, albeit with conditions. The country’s Telecommunication Authority has cleared the social video app after TikTok promised it would moderate clips in step with Pakistani “societal norms” and laws. People who routinely upload “unlawful” content will face bans, the authority added.

The removal came days after senior TikTok staff met with the PTA to discuss what they could do to end the ban. The agency claimed that it banned the app after giving the company “considerable time” to act.

It’s not clear just what content is newly off-limits for TikTok users in Pakistan. Officials initially banned the app over “immoral and indecent” material. However, it’s safe to say moderators will have to be more aggressive than they were before.

The response isn’t surprising given the pressures on TikTok. The Pakistan row came not long after India banned TikTok as part of its dispute with China, and just weeks after the company struck a deal with Oracle to keep operating in the US. Large markets have seemingly been under threat for a while, and TikTok likely wasn’t eager to risk losing one more.

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