Pakistan’s government has blocked Tinder, Grindr and three other dating apps to curb online platforms in breach of the country’s laws against extramarital relationships and homosexuality.
In Islamic Pakistan, extramarital relationships and homosexuality are illegal.
Notices to the management of the five apps has been sent, “keeping in view the negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming”, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said.
PTA said the notices issued to Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi sought the removal of “dating services” and moderation of live streaming content in accordance with local laws.
The companies did not respond to the notices within the stipulated time, the regulator added.
Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower shows Tinder has been downloaded more than 440,000 times in Pakistan within the last 12 months. Grindr, Tagged and SayHi had each been downloaded about 300,000 times and Skout 100,000 times in that same period.
Critics say Pakistan, using recent digital legislation, has sought to rein in free expression on the internet, blocking or ordering the removal of content deemed immoral as well as news critical of the government and military.
In July, Pakistan issued a “final warning” to TikTok over explicit content, while live streaming app Bigo Live was blocked for 10 days for the same reason.
Pakistani authorities reiterated that concern to TikTok officials in a recent meeting.
Last week PTA also asked YouTube to “immediately block vulgar, indecent, immoral, nude and hate speech content for viewing in Pakistan”. (Source: The Guardian)