TikTok stars call on the government to remove app ban

Many content creators have said that the app is a source of livelihood for them

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned famous app TikTok after a number of complaints were received. There was previously talk of immoral content being spread through these apps and according to PTA, a number of communications with the company running the app were carried out.  However, a number of TikTokers have spoken against the decision as the app provided them with an opportunity to showcase their talents as well as get chances to earn money through commercial engagements.

Jannat Mirza, Pakistan’s first tiktoker with over 10 million followers, hoped that the ban will be removed. She maintained that the app is helping find new talent in the country. “In general, it was a good app. It was accessible to everyone. So much talent emerged through this app,” she said. Mirza agreed that the app can be used for “notorious and hate activities”, “but it [TikTok] must continue, with strict rules and conditions”.

Comedian Zulqurnain Sikander called out the ban and urged the government to lift the restriction as the platform was serving as a source of income for struggling performers. He said that due to dearth of opportunities in the industry, many performers took to tiktok and showcased their talents. Sikander has 8 million followers on the app and is known to have spread useful information about the novel coronavirus.

“There are dozens of other social media applications where immoral and indecent content is shared in Pakistan. Why is the government not taking any strict action against those platforms?” Sikander asked, questioning why the actions of “10 out of 100 people” got TikTok banned in Pakistan.

A number of other tiktokers with significant fan following have called for the ban to be revoked. Most of them argue that it took them umpteenth hours of hard work and years to achieve their fan following. They called on the government on focusing on content with issues and have than blocked rather than banning the app altogether.

Pakistan has had over 43 million downloads of tiktok app. While there certainly is some objectionable content on the app from local creators, most of the videos are harmless and free of vulgarity. It seems to be a sensible choice to review the decision and work towards the removal of unwanted content rather than the app itself.

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