ISLAMABAD: A total of 923 complaints were received to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) regarding unlawful content on the TikTok application, after which the authority banned the application in the country, stating the documents received by the Reporters under the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017.
Out of the total 923 complaints, 567 were received on PTA official email, 550 through Prime Minister Citizens Portal, 68 received on PTA’s complaint Management System and 58 on another official email of the PTA.
Documents state that in pursuance of the complaints received against TikTok application, a meeting of PTA’s officials was held to discuss the presence of objectionable content on Tiktok.
The said meeting was attended by Chairman PTA Maj Gen (Retd) Amir Azeem Bajwa and many senior officers of the telecommunication authority.
Sharing details about the decisions taken in the meeting PTA stated, in addition to several complaints received through different mediums against objectionable content on TikTok application, a resolution was also passed in Punjab Assembly regarding negative effects of TikTok videos and demanding ban on the application.
In addition to the resolution, two petitions were filed in Lahore High Court with prayer to block the application.
Documents state that after a series of email correspondence and meeting with TikTok representatives, a 48 hours final notices vide email dated October 7 was issued to install a comprehensive mechanism for proactive monitoring and to control content in-line with local laws of Pakistan however no reply/compliance has been received till date.
“The Authority has decided to block the TikTok application with immediate effect in exercise of its powers under Section 37 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 till formulation of a comprehensive mechanism for content moderation in-line with the laws of Pakistan”, document states.
It is to mention here that PTA was also requested to share the record of the correspondence made with the management of TikTok application, but despite the order of the commission, the authority has refused to shared the details of the correspondence stating that “correspondence received from TikTok is a 3rd party content and cannot be shared without its prior consent, adding that PTA does not have any consent from the TikTok in this regard. Therefore, PTA is unable to share this communication”.