'Excuse Me, Aap Bhi?': After India, Twitter Cracks up with Memes on TikTok Ban in Pakistan
Pakistan has decided to block social media app TikTok for failing to filter out “immoral” content, three top government officials said on Friday. A formal announcement to this effect will be made in a few hours, the officials said. While the move seemingly follows India's footsteps to ban the viral short video social media platform, the reasons appear to be different – in Pakistan, the decision to block TikTok does not seem to be fuelled by privacy concerns.
The ban comes following a 'final warning' by the country's telecommunications regulator in July against the Chinese app's explicit content.
“We have been asking them repeatedly to put in place an effective mechanism for blocking immoral and indecent content,” one of the top officials directly involved in the decision said. “The platform, however, hasn’t been able to fully satisfy Pakistani authorities. The decision has been taken to block TikTok for accessing in Pakistan,” he said.
However, the ban immediately took over Twitter with netizens exhibiting various hilarious concerns through memes making #TikTok one of the top trends for the day. While many drew a parallel between Pakistani TikTokers and Indian Tiktokers, others came forward to hail the decision.
TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, has been caught in a firestorm globally due to security and privacy concerns. It has already been blocked in India and it faces scrutiny in countries from Australia to the United States.
TikTok's streak of misfortune has stemmed from a wide variety of reasons, initially including lack of proper curation and quality control, and of late, privacy debates that have risen as a result of its parent company, Bytedance's allegedly close ties to the Chinese government.
In another early action to regulate their content, Pakistan had blocked access to Tinder and several other dating apps in a bid to control "immoral" and "indecent" content, just days after regulators threatened to shut down YouTube for similar reasons.
( with inputs from agencies )