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Should TikTok Mobile App Be Banned in India

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According to a recent survey in India, around 80 per cent youngsters want TikTok banned in India. Read on to know more about it…

Recently, the Madras High Court directed the central Indian government to ban Tik Tok mobile app. The interim order directing ban on the download of Tik Tok app was passed by by Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

Survery Report on TikTok Ban
According to a recent survey by news app Inshorts, 8 out of 10 millenials living in India want the controversial Chinese video app TikTok to be banned. With a global user base of over one billion users, TikTok has over 50 million users in India.

The survey asked 30,000 participants, majorly from Tier-1 and 2 cities and belonging to the age group of 18 to 35 years across the country, whether they think TikTok should be banned in India. While 80 per cent said yes, 20 per cent said no, the results showed.

Privacy Concerns
The Madras High Court directed the central Indian government to prohibit the download and usage of Tik Tok mobile app as it expressed concern that the app hosts inappropriate content, including pornography, which is available for access to children. The interim order directing ban on the download of Chinese video sharing mobile application was passed by Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar sitting at Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. The bench also directed the media organisations to not telecast the videos made using the Tik Tok app.

“The Government has to answer whether the Union of India will enact a statute, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims,” the court said in its order.

“Majority of the teens are playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos sharing with split screen to the strangers. The children who use the said application are vulnerable and may expose them to sexual predators …. Without understanding the dangers involved in these kinds of Mobile Apps., it is unfortunate that our children are testing with these Apps,” the court said in its order.

The order noted that the app has already been banned in Indonesia and Bangladesh due to similar concerns, according to a report in Bar & Bench. “… nobody can be pranked or shocked or being made as a subject of mockery by any third party and it would amount to violation of the privacy. It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. By becoming addicted to Tik Tok App., and similar Apps., or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mindset of the children are spoiled,“ it said.

“The people are making cruel humour against innocent third parties. Even Television channels are also telecasting TikTok videos, which are also liable to be prohibited,“ the court remarked.

Blue Whale Challenge
The court remarked that the government should have introduced such measures earlier, especially after the furore caused by the Blue Whale challenge. “Even after that [the Blue Whale Challenge], the officials have not learnt that they should be alert with regard to these type of problems. Only when the officials and policy makers are alive to the problems of the society, decision could be taken to prevent this kind of cyber applications,” it observed.

Future Course
The court has posted the matter for further hearing on April 16. The petition was filed by a Madurai based senior lawyer cum social activist MuthuKumar who had sought a direction to ban TikTok citing pornography, cultural degradation, child abuse and suicides.

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