Pakistan has 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.
Meanwhile, as always, netizens in Pakistan joked about it, asking, “What will happen to the men?”
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said it had barred users from accessing Tinder, Grindr, SayHi, Tagged and Skout after the social networking apps failed to “moderate… content in accordance” with Pakistan’s laws.
The PTA said the ban addressed the “negative effects of immoral/indecent content”.
Shahzad Ahmad, director of digital rights group Bytes For All, slammed the PTA’s “moral policing”.
“If adults choose to be on an app, it is not for the state to dictate whether they should use it or not,” Ahmad told AFP.
He described the ban as “a completely ridiculous move” that people would find ways to circumvent.
The ban immediately took over Twitter with netizens jokingly raising their concern over the ‘married men in the country’.
What elite married men will do now without Tinder in Pakistan? khair elite hain they will find other ways to cheat on their wives.
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) September 1, 2020
No one is more upset about tinder being blocked in Pakistan than married men 😔
— 🌸ملیحہ🌸 (@theD_inDNA) August 30, 2020
Apparently #tinder has been banned in Pakistan. It’s a sad day for the bald men of this country.
— Raza Ahmad (@razaahmad) August 31, 2020
— Haider Abbas Turi ❼ (@hayderakt) September 1, 2020
sheesha cafes banned ❌
mixed gathering in schools/unis banned ❌
tinder banned ❌
totay banned ❌
jayein toh kidhr jayein?
we have already sacrificed our own lives for Pakistan.
— sugar kaka (@sugar_kaka) September 1, 2020
Can’t believe they banned tinder in Pakistan. How am I going to go on dates with men who tell me they thought I was a lesbian because I’m too confident to be straight now?
— nodairyplz (@nodairyplz) August 30, 2020
You took every thing form me. pic.twitter.com/wPBXETFBdr
— Hamad Zafar (@itshamadzafar) September 1, 2020
— Hafsa (@Hafsa51973753) August 30, 2020
Tinder did not immediately return a request for comment.
The PTA said the apps could request to have their blocks lifted if they show they are “moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement”.
The regulator did not specify what it meant by that engagement.
Last week, the PTA asked YouTube to immediately block all videos they consider “objectionable” from being accessed in the country.
The demand was criticised by rights campaigners who fear creeping censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet and printed media.
And in July, authorities issued a final warning to Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, ordering it to filter any obscene content.
The Muslim-majority country has several existing or proposed restrictions that target free speech, usually in the name of Islam or national security.
( with inputs from AFP )