Significant reduction in online access to pornography

Federal Communications Minister announces efforts to block “TikTok” in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Hiaym Al-Yasiri, the Federal Minister of Communications, announced on Monday a proposal to the Cabinet to block the “TikTok” application in Iraq, citing concerns over its content. During the conference Al-Yasiri revealed efforts to curb access to pornographic websites, leading to an 80% reduction in their accessibility.

Al-Yasiri stated, “The ministry has blocked pornographic sites, resulting in Iraqis accessing 171 such sites of various origins, including American, European, Asian, and Arab.” She noted a significant decline in traffic to these sites, from over half a billion visits in a month to 89 million visits following the blocking initiative.

The Minister emphasized the importance of cooperation from parliament members to support the blocking of applications like TikTok.

Figures published in ByteDance’s advertising resources indicate that TikTok had 31.95 million users aged 18 and above in Iraq in early 2024.

The move is expected to severely affect the advertising market in Iraq especially for small businesses as many are resorting to TikTok influencers and other advertising methods on the platform.