TikTok assures growth of moderation capacity, cooperation with regulators after SHC ban

Published July 1, 2021
TikTok said its community had brought joy to Pakistani households and provided a home for creators. — AFP/File
TikTok said its community had brought joy to Pakistani households and provided a home for creators. — AFP/File

TikTok on Thursday assured the growth of its local-language moderation capacity, diligence to take action on content in violation of community guidelines and cooperation with regulators in a statement issued by the popular social media app after orders for its suspension by the Sindh High Court (SHC) until July 8.

The popular video-​sharing application said that the creativity and passion of its community had "brought joy to households across Pakistan and provided a home for incredibly talented creators."

"We have grown our local-language moderation capacity for Pakistan, and work diligently to review and take action on content in violation of our community guidelines.

"We continue to work with regulators, and look forward to serving the millions of TikTok users and creators in Pakistan who have found a home for creativity, fun and vital economic opportunities for many years to come," said the statement.

In a transparency report released on Wednesday, the Chinese owned company had said that it had removed more than six million videos from the app in Pakistan in three months. “In the Pakistani market, TikTok removed 6,495,992 videos making it the second market to get the most videos removed after the USA, where 8,540,088 videos were removed,” said the report, covering the period from January to March.

Around 15 per cent of the removed videos were “adult nudity and sexual activities”. A spokesman said the Pakistan-made videos were banned as a result of both user and government requests.

The actions came as the app faced a fresh court battle in Karachi, where an SHC judge asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend TikTok for spreading “immoral content”.

The court, in its order, stated that TikTok had not abided by "the constant undertakings and assurances" given by it before various courts and the PTA to block accounts spreading vulgarity.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had slammed the high court's decision on Wednesday. In a tweet, the minister said the country would never be able to come out of an economic crisis unless judicial reforms were implemented.

"My head is spinning after reading about the decision to ban TikTok and remove the NBP (National Bank of Pakistan) president. What are our courts doing? The country has already suffered losses worth billons of dollars due to judicial activism," the minister had said.

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