TikTok says it has received no communication from PTA despite efforts

17 Oct 2020

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TikTok said on Saturday that it has "received no communication" from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) despite the regulator's acknowledgement and appreciation of the company's efforts. — Reuters/File
TikTok said on Saturday that it has "received no communication" from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) despite the regulator's acknowledgement and appreciation of the company's efforts. — Reuters/File

TikTok — the highly popular video-sharing app — said on Saturday it had "received no communication" from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) despite the regulator's acknowledgement and appreciation of the company's efforts to comply with the country's laws and to increase its content moderation.

In a press release, TikTok said it was "sad that our users and creators in Pakistan are still unable to access TikTok, more than one week after our services were blocked by the PTA".

Earlier this month, the country's regulatory body had issued instructions to impose a ban on TikTok after receiving a "number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content" that was shared on the app.

PTA said it had earlier issued a "final notice" to TikTok and gave the application "considerable time to respond and comply with" instructions for development of an effective mechanism for proactive moderation of "unlawful online content".

However, the company "failed to fully comply" with PTA's instructions after which the authority decided to ban it in the country.

In today's statement, TikTok said it had "made concerted efforts to address questions from the government of Pakistan around our content moderation process, including significantly increasing the capacity of our local language content moderation team".

"After TikTok was blocked in Pakistan, we continued to engage with the PTA to demonstrate our commitment to comply with local laws and further enhance our content moderation capacity. Though the PTA acknowledged and appreciated these efforts, our services remain blocked in the country and we have received no communication from PTA," the statement added.

The company said it was unfortunate that the app's users in the country were "unable to showcase their talent and creativity", adding that the TikTok community's "creativity and passion has brought joy to households across Pakistan and opened vital economic opportunities to incredibly talented creators".

TikTok said it was continuing to engage with the government and it hoped that "our productive dialogue with the PTA can bring assurance of the government's commitment to a stable, enabling environment."

The company said it would assess its allocation of resources to Pakistan's market in case the government decided to remove the ban on the app.