Passersby walk past the PLDT logo.
AFP, File
PLDT: No gov’t order to block access to Tinder
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 23, 2018 - 11:31am

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunications giant PLDT, Inc. denied reports that their customers couldn't access Tinder as the government has ordered the dating app's blocking due to the Anti-Cybercrime Law.

Reports on the app's blocking surfaced after online user EJ Serrano tweeted a screenshot of his conversation with a customer service representative of PLDT.

 

 

He asked the telecommunications firm why he could not access the dating app when using wi-fi at home. A PLDT representative replied that it was due to the Anti-Cybercrime Law that the app is blocked.

“Today in shitty government laws: Tinder for Anti-Cyber Law,” Serrano wrote.

“If you’ve been wondering why Tinder doesn’t work in some wifi networks,” he added

Serrano’s post earned negative reactions from other social media users who questioned what cybercrime violation Tinder might have committed.

Tinder is one of the world’s most popular location-based mobile dating apps. Users of this app can meet new people online by liking (swiping right) or disliking (swiping left) other users.

Users are allowed to chat if both parties matched or swiped right.

In a text message to Philstar.com, Ramon Isberto, head of public affairs and corporate communications of PLDT and Smart, said they already looked into the matter.

“Our initial finding is that there is no government order to block access to the app. We are now checking reports that some people have had difficulty in accessing the site,” Isberto told Philstar.com.

“We want to verify the reports and if confirmed, to correct the situation,” he added.

For his part, Serrano also updated his tweet saying PLDT called him and clarified that the government did not block the app. He said the app is blocked by PLDT.

 

 

Philstar.com also verified that the application is working using the said networks.

In 2017, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group blocked adult or porn websites to quell child pornography and trafficking online.

This move earned criticism as the Supreme Court said that the blocking or takedown of any online content requires compliance with judicial processes which the PNP panel did not undergo.

READ: Civil rights group: Blocking adult sites may have been illegal

In 2012, the government passed Republic Act 10175 or "Cybercrime Prevention Act″ regulating the exploitation of information and communications technology.

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Editor's Note: Hastings Holdings Inc., a unit under PLDT's media conglomerate MediaQuest Holdings, has a majority stake in Philstar Global Corp., which runs Philstar.com.

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