Pakistan issues ‘final warning’ to TikTok and blocks Bigo app over ‘immoral, obscene, and vulgar content’

TikTok has come under fire in yet another country.

Pakistan has blocked Bigo Live streaming app and issued “final warning” to ByteDance’s TikTok over “immoral, obscene, and vulgar content” on the apps.

The nation’s telecom authority said it had received a number of complaints from various segments of the society over the nature of videos that circulate on Bigo and ByteDance’s app and how it is impacting “society in general and youth in particular.”

Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said in a statement that it recently relayed those concerns to ByteDance and Bigo Technologies, which operates Bigo app, and urged it to proactively “moderate the socialization and content within legal and moral limits.” But the response from these apps hasn’t been satisfactory, it said.

“Therefore, in exercise of its powers under PECA (nation’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act), PTA has decided to immediately block Bigo and issue final warning to TikTok to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control obscenity, vulgarity, and immorality through its social media application.”

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Bigo could not be immediately reached.

The push from Pakistan comes weeks after its neighboring nation India banned TikTok, Bigo and 57 other apps developed by Chinese firms over cybersecurity concerns.

Prior to the ban, TikTok identified India — where it had amassed over 200 million monthly active users — as its biggest market outside of China. Like in India, TikTok is also immensely popular in Pakistan, said Danish Khalid, an executive at Bykea, a Karachi-headquartered ride-hailing startup.

According to mobile insights firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app in Pakistan, which has about 40 million internet users, last year. Some activists have decried Pakistan’s warning to TikTok and blocking of Bigo Live, calling the move nation’s attempt to “test the ground to what extent they can go in censoring.”

TikTok, ByteDance’s marquee app, is also facing tension in the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the U.S. was “certainly looking” at banning TikTok over concerns that it could be used by the Beijing government as a surveillance and propaganda tool.

Pakistan issues ‘final warning’ to TikTok and blocks Bigo app over ‘immoral, obscene, and vulgar content’

TikTok has come under fire in yet another country.

Pakistan has blocked Bigo Live streaming app and issued “final warning” to ByteDance’s TikTok over “immoral, obscene, and vulgar content” on the apps.

The nation’s telecom authority said it had received a number of complaints from various segments of the society over the nature of videos that circulate on Bigo and ByteDance’s app and how it is impacting “society in general and youth in particular.”

Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said in a statement that it recently relayed those concerns to ByteDance and Bigo Technologies, which operates Bigo app, and urged it to proactively “moderate the socialization and content within legal and moral limits.” But the response from these apps hasn’t been satisfactory, it said.

“Therefore, in exercise of its powers under PECA (nation’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act), PTA has decided to immediately block Bigo and issue final warning to TikTok to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control obscenity, vulgarity, and immorality through its social media application.”

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Bigo could not be immediately reached.

The push from Pakistan comes weeks after its neighboring nation India banned TikTok, Bigo and 57 other apps developed by Chinese firms over cybersecurity concerns.

Prior to the ban, TikTok identified India — where it had amassed over 200 million monthly active users — as its biggest market outside of China. Like in India, TikTok is also immensely popular in Pakistan, said Danish Khalid, an executive at Bykea, a Karachi-headquartered ride-hailing startup.

According to mobile insights firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app in Pakistan, which has about 40 million internet users, last year. Some activists have decried Pakistan’s warning to TikTok and blocking of Bigo Live, calling the move nation’s attempt to “test the ground to what extent they can go in censoring.”

TikTok, ByteDance’s marquee app, is also facing tension in the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the U.S. was “certainly looking” at banning TikTok over concerns that it could be used by the Beijing government as a surveillance and propaganda tool.

Tech Infrastructure In The Developing World

towersindia More than a billion people do not have access to cellular networks, three billion people live without phones and five billion people do without Internet access. While billions became connected to phone and Internet networks over the past decade, huge numbers of people are still underserved by these networks. The existing telecom and Internet infrastructure faces a tremendous challenge in… Read More

Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry, NYC Cabbie, Charged In Relatives’ Deaths In Pakistan

AP A NY USA NEW YORK TAXI FARENEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — On the day two of his relatives were gunned down in a street in Pakistan last year, cab driver Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry was thousands of miles away in New York City.

That made it all the more shocking to friends when federal agents moved in later that same day and arrested the 60-year-old immigrant who was known for his gentle manner and devotion to his children and grandchildren.

An indictment filed late last month charges Choudhry with murder conspiracy in a case U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn say exposed a bitter family feud over his daughter’s flight from an arranged marriage. The animosity, authorities say, ended in the equivalent of so-called honor killings — the ruthless vigilantism against Pakistani women accused of disgracing their families. Continue reading “Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry, NYC Cabbie, Charged In Relatives’ Deaths In Pakistan”