IHC issues notices in petition challenging ban on TikTok
Maryam Farid Advocate, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that due to the ban imposed on TikTok by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), her client had lost means of earning his livelihood.
She argued that the PTA even did not adopt a proper way of placing a ban on the app. “It rather issued a press release to intimate people about its decision,” she added.
When IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah asked whether the ban was meant for the entire country, Maryam replied, “Yes, but the Authority deemed issuing a press release enough to notify its decision.”
The court issued notices to the defendants and adjourned the hearing of the case until next week.
The PTA had on July 21 blocked the video-sharing app for a fourth time because of "inappropriate content".
The Chinese-owned site has fought a series of legal battles with religious activists and authorities and was shut down for two days earlier this month on the order of a court.
"The action has been taken due to continuous presence of inappropriate content on the platform and its failure to take such content down," the telecoms authority had said in a statement.
The app had a huge fan base in Pakistan, where many people use it to market and sell goods online. But its critics said it promotes vulgarity and LGBTQ content.
In June, TikTok said it had removed more than six million videos available to Pakistan users in just three months following complaints from officials and ordinary users. Around 15 percent of the videos removed were taken down because of "adult nudity and sexual activities", the company said.
Officials have previously asked YouTube to block content they deem objectionable, and several dating apps are prohibited.
Reporter Ihtesham Kiani