On Tuesday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked access to Tinder and several other dating apps in a bid to control “immoral” and “indecent” content.
In a statement, PTA said it barred users from accessing Tinder, Grindr, SayHi, Tagged and Skout after the social networking apps failed to “moderate… content in accordance” with Pakistan’s laws.
The PTA said the ban addressed the “negative effects of immoral/indecent content”, adding that the apps could request to have their blocks lifted if they show they are “moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement”. However, the regulator did not specify what it meant by that engagement.
Meanwhile, Tinder, in a statement, said it would “welcome the opportunity to discuss our product and moderation efforts with PTA and look forward to a meaningful conversation.”
Following the announcement, enraged Pakistanis took to social media to express their anger at PTA for blocking the apps.
Other Twitter users including Osman Khalid Butt decided to make a joke of the situation.
Earlier, PTA asked YouTube to immediately block all videos they consider “objectionable” from being accessed in the country. The demand was criticised by rights campaigners who fear creeping censorship and control of Pakistan’s internet and printed media.
In July, authorities issued a final warning to Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, ordering it to filter any obscene content, following which TikTok not only upgraded its ‘Community Guidelines’, but also released its Urdu language version for Pakistani users.