Pakistani man killed during TikTok stunt on train track

18-year-old Pakistani man killed during TikTok stunt on train track
3 min read
23 January, 2021
Hamza Naveed, 18, was walking next to the tracks while a friend filmed him, a spokesperson for the local rescue agency said.
The young man was filming a video on a train track [File Photo: Getty]
A young man was hit and killed by a train in Pakistan while being filmed walking along the tracks for a TikTok stunt, police and rescue officials said on Saturday.

The accident happened on Friday in the Shah Khalid neighbourhood of Rawalpindi city, near the capital Islamabad.

Hamza Naveed, 18, was walking next to the tracks while a friend filmed him, Raja Rafaqat Zaman, a spokesperson for the local rescue agency, told AFP.

"The moving train hit him while he was posing for a video and walking on the railway track," Zaman said.

Rescue workers rushed to the site, he said, but the young man was already dead. 

Friends of the young man told rescue workers he was posing for the video to post it on TikTok and his other social media accounts, Zaman said.

A police official at the local station confirmed the accident and other details.

Taking selfies and making videos for social media is wildly popular in Pakistan, as in other countries, with many youngsters using the posts to update their Facebook, Twitter and TikTok accounts.

Owned by China's ByteDance, TikTok has also faced increasing controversy over how it collects and uses data although it has repeatedly denied sharing user information with Chinese authorities.

During the previous Donald Trump administration, officials in the United States accused it of being a national security risk with former President Donald Trump even attempting to take it out of Chinese hands. 

In Pakistan - a close ally of China - no privacy concerns have been raised but Islamabad in October lifted a ban on the video-sharing app TikTok after assurances that "immoral" content would be blocked.

The Chinese-owned platform, which is wildly popular among the country's youth, was briefly banned last year over what authorities in the Islamic country deemed "immoral, obscene and vulgar" content.

But the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said it received assurances from TikTok that the company will "block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality".

Read also: Amnesty condemns Egypt's 'outrageous' prosecution of TikTok influencers

It warned, however, that it would be banned permanently if it failed to moderate posts.

TikTok said it in a statement it had committed to enforcing "community guidelines and complying with local laws" but did not comment on what morality or decency standards it had agreed to.

Arslan Khalid, a digital media adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, previously tweeted that the "exploitation, objectification & sexualization" of young girls on TikTok was causing pain to parents.

But freedom of speech advocates have long criticised the creeping government censorship and control of Pakistan's internet and printed and electronic media.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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