Dating apps in Pakistan have been a huge bridge for people looking to explore relationships and their sexuality. With the public space not being conducive to even the inter-mingling of different genders let alone budding relationships, dating apps have provided a means for it to people who aren’t able to exist in the mainstream. Well, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority just put a wrench in that machine.
Earlier this week there were rumors that PTA might have done something with Tinder in Pakistan
Many people were opining that Tinder had been banned because not many people were able to open the app in Pakistan.
There were jokes how about people being surprised that Tinder existed, in the first place
With everything that allows people the freedom of their personal expression being quickly banned, people were shocked and surprised to find out that Tinder was even allowed to be functional in Bannistan, oops I mean, Pakistan.
After hours of speculation, PTA has officially confirmed that it indeed banned Tinder in Pakistan
But this comes along with a ban on four other dating apps. These apps are Tagged, Skout, Grindr and SayHi.
As expected, the reasoning given by PTA for banning Tinder and other dating apps in Pakistan is the “immoral/indecent content”
The notice by PTA says that the ban happened, “in view of negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming through above applications, PTA issued notices to the management of above mentioned platforms for the purpose of removing dating services & moderate live streaming content in accordance with local laws of Pakistan.”
Interestingly, with there being no one universal definition of what morality is, it’s pretty easy to invoke morals as a garb of curbing free speech or expression. If only our courts actually helped facilitate people, someone could file a public interest litigation against such bans because obviously these bans are against the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
PTA has left the option to unban Tinder in Pakistan with a condition, however
If the apps “moderate” the “indecent/immoral” content on their platforms, PTA did say it was willing to reconsider blocking them. Well, at least the fact that they’re leaving a door open, in writing, for possibly the first time is a positive, I guess.
PTA can, however, reconsider blocking of the said applications provided management of the companies assures adherence to the local laws with respect to moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement.