TikTok was the phenomenon that took the interwebs by storm roughly around last year when it blew up during the COVID-19 lockdown. Overnight, it seemed that everyone and their grandma had a TikTok account and was posting reels. Even though the app was launched in 2016, it got its time in the limelight in late 2019.
However, with fame comes great responsibility. Sadly, that was a concept too difficult to comprehend for some users who began uploading mature and indecent content on the platform, and then there were those who were there to groom minors (big yikes). This resulted in numerous accounts being banned and millions of uploads being deleted. In Pakistan alone, six million videos were removed by TikTok in three month’s time as a result of requests made by users and the Pakistani government. Approximately fifteen per cent of those videos contained adult nudity and sexual activities.
Sadly, that was not enough to appease Pakistani authorities. The app faced multiple bans in Pakistan (the first one in October 2020) and now it seems like it’s gone to the point of no return as it was banned once again this week by the Sindh High Court who ordered PTA to suspend TikTok until 8th July.
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Is Banning Apps Going To Eradicate Immorality & Vulgarity From Pakistan?
If we’ve learned anything from YouTube, it is that banning apps is never the answer. We need to be connected through social media with the rest of the world, we need it to follow up on trends and know what’s what. Apps like TikTok foster creativity and I’ve seen multiple creators from Pakistan make content that is truly a delight to watch – which includes everything from parodies, DIYs and even educational videos! Instead of banning an entire platform because of the malpractices of a few, maybe we should educate our people on how to behave in public places and on public platforms. Maybe It’s time for some reform because gatekeeping isn’t working.
Being Responsible On Social Media
Some key rules to remember when you’re online:
- Be mindful of how you treat others – spreading hate and bullying others gets you nowhere in life.
- Keep private information PRIVATE – this includes your documents, telephone numbers, addresses and your risqué photos because once it’s on the internet you have no control over where it ends up and with whom.
- Sharing mature content without age restriction (and even with restrictions, considering the platform isn’t meant for that purpose) isn’t only gross but it’s very illegal and will definitely land you in jail.
- Doxxing is not cool.
- Nor is airing out your dirty laundry for two minutes of fame. Whatever beef you have with people please sort it out in private – this is not an episode of The Real Housewives.
We hope this will be a reminder to creatives in Pakistan and around the world that if you don’t abide by the rules then you get things taken away from you. Here’s to hoping people act more respectfully and responsibly in public spheres!