The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority decided on Friday to block video-sharing app TikTok in the country. The decision was taken after the app “failed to comply” with the PTA’s instructions to filter out “unlawful online content.”
The announcement was met by all sorts of reactions from people on social media. Some criticised the authority for restricting freedom of expression in the country while others posted memes and jokes on the situation.
Tik tok ban in pakistan ..?— Adeel shaw .( zaidian's?) (@shaw_adeel) October 9, 2020
The only good news of 2020#TikTok
Tiktok ban in Pakistan— Mehmil Fatima (@M_Fati6) October 9, 2020
Me and my All twitter gem: pic.twitter.com/hEaDNMcKJn
“PTA ki call ayi thi. Tiktokers nahi rahay [The PTA had called. TikTokers are no more],” wrote TikTok star Jannat Mirza on Instagram. Two days earlier, she became Pakistan’s most popular TikToker with 10 million followers.
Tiktok ban makes me sadder than the YouTube ban did even though I didn't consume any content on the former.— BuffetKhor (@BilkulSahiKaha) October 9, 2020
For the first time, I saw a platform where the common man in Pakistan had a space to express themselves creatively and build a community. And they took that away from them
There is a a distinct lack of local content in Pakistan. Platforms like #tiktok were bridging that gap. It was interesting to see how the youth was using it to create local language content. I see this ban as a huge setback. #digitalinclusion #DigitalPakistan— Iffat Gill (@iffatgill) October 10, 2020
Recently, there has been an increasing level of censorship on the type of content Pakistanis can access on their television screens or smart phones. A few days ago, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued an advisory to advertisers and broadcasters against “indecent advertisements.”
“PTA bans Tiktok in Pakistan. Ban everything at once… why this takkluf [formality] of banning media and social media in bits and pieces, wrote lawyer and digital rights activist Nighat Dad.
PTA bans Tiktok in Pakistan. Ban everything at once bhai why this takkluf of banning media and social media in bits and pieces. #PakistanBannedTikTok— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) October 9, 2020
For some people, TikTok is more than just an app. They have been using it to showcase their talents and creativity, and make money.
Hareem Shah, a TikTok star said she used to earn Rs600,000 per month from a Dubai-based company via TikTok. In Pakistan, she nearly earns Rs100,000 for an event or endorsement.
She added that the ban will impact the livelihood of people on the platform.
My friend left his job to start an ad business on TikTok. He was employing people & making Pakistanis on TikTok money. Today the PTI government because they cannot control content reflecting people's anger at poor governance banned TikTok and destroyed his livelihood #unbantiktok pic.twitter.com/7Qr6y1Xtfy— H U Khan (@Huk06) October 9, 2020
Some social media users agreed with the ban, deeming it necessary to stop vulgarity in society.
Some suggested that the app should be regulated, instead of completely banning it.
Tik tok and banning everything is not the solution for problems. Ban this ban that? What next?? Did Gala Biscuit ad stopped rape in Pakistan? Check out statistics of days after that Ad ban decision, they're still the same. I don't support tiktok but it should be regulated— ♔ ?????? ♔ (@JannatKulachi) October 9, 2020
Some people were fed up and think that banning should be banned in Pakistan.
Can we ban this ban culture in pakistan?— Awais Ilyas Hundal (@Awaishundal96) October 9, 2020
Gala biscuit ad , churails and now Tik tok.#TikTok
Yes ban everything, finally ban living in Pakistan. That would be the easiest way to tame peoples' voices. #TikTok— Shabir Khan (@shab_afridi) October 9, 2020
TikTok is a widely popular social media app with millions of users across the world. Pakistan has become the third country to impose a ban on the China-owned app, following the United States and India.