PTA bans five dating apps including Tinder citing 'immoral content'

Published September 1, 2020
Tinder is one of the world's most popular dating apps. — AFP/File
Tinder is one of the world's most popular dating apps. — AFP/File

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked five dating and live streaming applications including the popular Tinder app citing "immoral content", it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The four other apps blocked by the authority are Tagged, Skout, Grindr and SayHi.

The PTA said "keeping in view the negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming through the above applications", it had issued notices to the five platforms' managements, asking them to remove "dating services" and moderate live streaming content "in accordance with the local laws of Pakistan".

Read: Boomers should leave the internet alone

"Since the platforms did not respond to the notices within the stipulated time therefore the authority issued orders for blocking of the said applications," the press release stated.

It added, however, that the PTA can "reconsider blocking" of the said applications provided their company managements assure adherence to local laws "with respect to moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement".

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.

In a statement, Tinder said it would “welcome the opportunity to discuss our product and moderation efforts with the [PTA] and look forward to a meaningful conversation.”

The decision to block the apps comes less than two months after the PTA banned live streaming application Bigo and issued a “final warning” to video-sharing service TikTok over obscene and immoral content on the platforms.

The authority had also banned online game PlayerUnknown’s Battle Ground (PUBG) on June 1, citing several complaints about it being "addictive", a waste of time and its potential negative impact on children's physical and psychological health.

The ban was subsequently lifted in July after the PTA was given assurances by the legal representatives of the game maker.

Opinion

Biden’s world
Updated 27 Jan 2021

Biden’s world

Biden’s America is not going to be one that once again throws open visas so that the world’s brightest can easily immigrate.
The PDM’s predicament
Updated 27 Jan 2021

The PDM’s predicament

The interests and stakes of the parties in the alliance are too diverse for them to maintain unity of action for a longer period.

Editorial

Updated 27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

The right to freedom of expression has been curtailed to such an extent that it invites comparisons with martial law times.
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...
Pakistan-US ties
Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-US ties

The US remains the world’s most powerful country, one Pakistan cannot afford to ignore.
26 Jan 2021

NAB not impartial

NAB CHAIRMAN retired justice Javed Iqbal has claimed that his organisation is an unbiased anti white-collar-crime...
26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-South Africa series

IN what is seen as a rare instance, Pakistan start as the underdogs on their home turf when they take on South ...