State Bank Wants to Ban Bigo Live and Similar “Immoral” Apps

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block some live-streaming platforms over concerns of immoral content and excessive outflow of US dollars.

According to a document available with ProPakistani, SBP noted significant amounts of foreign exchange (FX) being remitted abroad by Pakistani individuals over certain social media platforms.

While conducting an assessment of FX consumption, SBP observed that these social media platforms mostly included live-streaming channels such as Bigo Live, Mico, StreamKar, and others. The bank says that these websites are being used for creating and sharing immoral content in addition to virtual dating and that it falls upon PTA to:

Block URLs and social media applications containing and promoting immoral, pornographic, and sexually explicit content and acitivites.

These platforms are also involved in gambling through various in-app casino games and other means. According to the State Bank’s assessment, a total of $8.93 billion has been remitted over the last two years through these live-streaming platforms.

Therefore, SBP has directed PTA to review the content and activities on said websites in light of relevant social media guidelines and regulatory framework.

PTA should decide whether such applications/platforms could be blocked to prevent the spread of immoral content and acitivities to preseve the precious foreign exchange reserves of the country.

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