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Pakistan bans streaming app Bigo, issues warning to TikTok

Pakistan has banned live streaming app Bigo and issued a “final warning” to Chinese social media app TikTok over content deemed immoral or obscene.

“On complaints of immoral, obscene and vulgar content, streaming app Bigo has been blocked in Pakistan.

“TikTok has also been served with final warning on same grounds,’’ Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The authority said it had issued notices to these social media companies to moderate the content within legal and moral limits but “the response of these companies has not been satisfactory.”

The Chinese video sharing app TikTok has often been criticized for its content but its popularity and outreach continues to grow.

The PTA said impact of the apps, particularly on youth, had been “negative.”

Recently, a petitioner asked the Lahore High Court to ban the app for spreading pornographic and immoral content.

Hareem Shah, a Pakistani girl, who became a social media celebrity with over three million followers of her videos on TikTok, told broadcaster Geo TV that “she supports the government’s decision.”

Earlier this month, Pakistan temporarily banned access to the popular online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) after reports of suicides and mental health issues among young people.

The PTA said the decision was taken after numerous complaints by parents, police and doctors, saying that the game had made children addicted.

YouTube and other sites have also faced periodic blocks in Pakistan over content that is deemed to be blasphemous.

(dpa/NAN)

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