The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to ban TikTok – the popular social media platform for entertainment videos – over proliferation of videos ‘spreading obscenity in society’, media reports said. PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan gave the order while hearing a petition against the social media platform. PTA Director Kamran Gandapur and deputy attorney generals Amir Javed and Asghar Kundi were also present in court. Justice Khan said videos being uploaded to TikTok were ‘unacceptable for Pakistani society’. “TikTok is affecting most of the youth. Reports being received about the platform in Peshawar are sad,” he remarked, adding that the videos were ‘spreading obscenity’ and thus the platform should be immediately closed. He questioned whether the closure would hurt the platform, to which Gandapur responded in the affirmative. The PTA director said the authority had sent a request to TikTok officials but had not yet received a “positive response”. “TikTok should be closed down unless their officials comply with your request and cooperate with you to prevent immoral content,” said Justice Khan. “It will be closed until your request is processed,” the court said. The chief justice enquired where the offices of TikTok were located to which he was told that the platform had no office in Pakistan, its head office was in Singapore and it was controlled from Dubai. Later in the day, the PTA issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok. In a tweet, the PTA said, “In respectful compliance to the orders of the Peshawar High Court, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued directions to the service providers to immediately block access to the TikTok App.” TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, was banned in October after repeated warnings by PTA over alleged ‘unethical content’. However, the PTA later restored TikTok with conditions and warnings that it adhere to the laws of the country, the platform should not be used for spreading vulgarity/indecent content and values of society should also not be abused.