Pakistan lifts TikTok ban after pledge on ‘indecent’ content

The Chinese-owned platform was banned earlier this month over what Pakistani authorities deemed ‘immoral, obscene and vulgar’ content. (AFP)
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Updated 19 October 2020

Pakistan lifts TikTok ban after pledge on ‘indecent’ content

  • TikTok said it in a statement it had committed to enforcing ‘community guidelines and complying with local laws’
  • Neighboring India has already banned the app, along with dozens of other Chinese mobile platforms

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said Monday it would lift a recent ban on the video-sharing app TikTok after assurances that “immoral” content would be blocked.
The Chinese-owned platform, which is wildly popular among the country’s youth, was banned earlier this month over what authorities in the ultra-conservative Islamic country deemed “immoral, obscene and vulgar” content.
But the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said Monday said it had received assurances from TikTok that the company will “block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality.”
It warned, however, that it would be banned permanently if it failed to moderate posts.
TikTok said it in a statement it had committed to enforcing “community guidelines and complying with local laws” but did not comment on what morality or decency standards it had agreed to.
Arslan Khalid, a digital media adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, previously tweeted that the “exploitation, objectification & sexualization” of young girls on TikTok was causing pain to parents.
But freedom of speech advocates have long criticized the creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan’s Internet and printed and electronic media.
Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has also faced increasing controversy over how it collects and uses data although it has repeatedly denied sharing user information with Chinese authorities.
Officials in the United States have accused it of being a national security risk and President Donald Trump has said he wants it taken out of Chinese hands.
In Pakistan — a close ally of China — no privacy concerns have been raised.
Neighboring India has already banned the app, along with dozens of other Chinese mobile platforms.


Maradona of Aabdine, Lebanon? Looking back at the TV show that revealed it

Updated 26 November 2020

Maradona of Aabdine, Lebanon? Looking back at the TV show that revealed it

  • The football legend died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60 after battling health issues and undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago

LONDON: Amid news of the death of Argentinian football superstar Diego Maradona on Wednesday, a Lebanese television clip that claimed he was originally from Lebanon has resurfaced on social media.

The Future Television show, Sire w Infatahit, hosted by award-winning journalist Zaven Kouyoumdjian, was the first to reveal the claim that Maradona originally hailed from the town of Aabdine in north Lebanon.

“There are people who left Aabdine to go to Argentina. However, they were only able to travel on ships because there were not many,” a man from Aabdine said in a report from the show.

“So they left on board the Titanic, which later sank but, one of them survived. One of their relatives is the great football legend, Maradona.

“Even after he became an international superstar, they came back to the village asking about their relatives in order for him to meet them.”

The football legend died of a heart attack on Wednesday at the age of 60 after battling health issues and undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.