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TikTok's Hassle with the Banning Culture

Banning culture is not new in Pakistan. First, the government banned social media for a long time, then we had YouTube banned for some time, and adult websites are still banned in Pakistan. It is a custom now to ban everything that produces some conflict or goes against our so-called norms and culture. Now, we see the upsurge against TikTok on social media, by the same people who give it millions of views daily, demanding for its ban. The use of Islamic fundamentalism to gain a political advantage has always been a great tool of governments. Recently, the government banned TikTok by saying that it goes against Islamic norms and culture, and they cannot allow anything that goes against Islam. Maybe, it seems beautiful, but it has drastic effects. It will give power to the state to do anything and legitimize it by using the name of Islam. We have seen this fundamentalistic and conservative paternal state in the era of Gen. Zia where he instituted prayer committees, Bait-ul-Mall or in the era of Bhutto where he threw a particular ethnic group of people out of Islam.

The practice of banning culture also spreads hatred against each other. It gives people a way to oppress others. TikTok is a platform where people record videos and upload them. Some like their videos and some do not. Now, in a society without banning culture, we would ignore the person whose videos we do not like. However, in our society, if people do not like someone, they demand his ban and start to spread hatred against him publicly. More people join sides, and eventually, it starts a conflict in society. Personally, I am not too fond of TikTok, and that is why I do not use it, and I think that is the only way by which we can keep harmony in society. Everyone should have the freedom to make their own decision. The use of banning culture will elevate the conflict in society as well as give power to the state to invade personal lives.

Ali Zulqarnain

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