Pakistan bans dating apps Tinder and Grindr for “immoral” and “indecent” content

Pakistan bans dating apps Tinder and Grindr for
The Tinder app. (Reuters)

In a statement released late Tuesday, the PTA indicates that the applications Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi have “negative effects due to their immoral and indecent content.”

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has banned the dating apps Tinder and Grindr, along with three other virtual dating apps, for their alleged “immoral” and “indecent” content. “The content of these applications is against the law,” said a spokesman for the PTA, Khurram Mehran.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, the PTA has indicated that the applications Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi have “negative effects due to their immoral and indecent content”, which does not comply with the laws of the conservative Asian country.

In Pakistan extramarital affairs are not allowed and homosexuality is criminalized with penalties of between two and ten years in prison, although it is not usually applied.

Tinder is a popular dating app with a worldwide presence, while Grindr is aimed at LGTBI people.

The PTA claims it contacted the administrators of the five apps to remove the dating services and moderate the content, but they did not respond.

Extramarital affairs are not allowed in Pakistan and homosexuality is a crime with penalties of between two and ten years in prison

“PTA may reconsider blocking applications if company administrators adhere to local laws regarding moderation of indecent/immoral content,” the agency said.

The conservative and Islamic Pakistan has been warning different ‘online’ platforms to moderate their content for weeks.

Last July, the PTA advised the short video application TikTok to moderate the content on its platform and last week asked YouTube to block vulgar, indecent, immoral content in the country.

Pakistani authorities are turning to the Internet Crimes Act, passed by Parliament in 2016, to carry out these bans, legislation that human rights groups say allows censorship and limits freedom of expression in the country.