Pakistan Tuesday banned access to five online dating/live streaming mobile applications, including Tinder and Grindr, citing “negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming through the applications.”
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), in its press release, said it had issued notices to the management of five apps– Tinder, Tagged, Skout, Grindr and SayHi– to remove dating services and to moderate live streaming content in accordance with the local laws of Pakistan.
On failing to respond to the notices, the authority has issued the order for blocking the five applications.
While Tinder, Skout, Grindr are online dating platforms, Tagged, a subsidiary of Hi5, and SayHi, are social networking platforms.
Press Release: PTA has blocked access to five dating/live streaming applications i.e. Tinder, Tagged, Skout, Grindr and SayHi. pic.twitter.com/gFJxsgcn6m
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) September 1, 2020
The PTA has said it could reconsider blocking the applications if the companies “assures adherence to the local laws with respect to moderating the indecent content”.
A recent study by the Indonesian Journal of Communication Studies had indicated that online dating increased in the country through Tinder. Most of Pakistan’s Tinder users come from major cities, including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, and are usually between 18 and 40 years old.
According to a DW report, other dating apps are also growing in popularity in Pakistan. “MuzMatch caters exclusively to Muslims looking for a date. Bumble, despite being relatively new to the online dating market, is a favorite among many Pakistani feminists, as women initiate the first conversation,” the report stated.
While Pakistan is catching on, India leads South Asia’s online dating market, according to the report.
Citing local laws, Pakistan has already banned live streaming application Bigo, and online gaming application PUBG before lifting the ban in July this year. The country’s authorities have also issued a warning to Chinese social networking app TikTok over “obscene and immoral content on the platforms”.