"... In Chennai, on March 27 of this year, an auto driver was arrested for posting a video that included a woman from Chennai on Tik Tok Mobile App. A 15 year old girl is said to have committed suicide at Mumbai for being scolded by her grandmother for use of Tik Tok Mobile App. An old man said to have fallen in the waterfalls in Valparai while taking a selfie for Tik Tok video."
The Madras High Court has issued an order seeking a ban on the popular video-based app TikTok on accounts of it 'degrading culture and encouraging pornography'. The majority of the app's user base is teenagers and youngsters in India, who are vulnerable to sexual predators and other cyber crimes.
Source: Madras High Court
The order drafted by Justice N. Kirubakaran and the Madurai Bench comprising Justice SS Sundar as well have directed the government to:
1. Ban downloading of the app to prevent new users,
2. Prohibit the media from telecasting TikTok videos, and
3. Answer if the Union of India will enact a statute like The USA's 'Children Online Privacy Act' to prevent children from becoming cyber victims.
The popular app allows users to create and share short videos and memes on the platform using special effects, filters, and even lip sync Bollywood clips and songs. Made in China, the app has 104 million users in India (out of 500 million) and over 54 million monthly active users. In fact, celebrities including Shahid Kapoor, Disha Patani, Jacqueline Fernandez, Yami Gautam, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Neha Kakkar and Badshah are some of the most active users of TikTok in India.
The order said, "The dangerous aspect is that inappropriate contents including language and pornography being posted in the TikTok App."
It added, "Without understanding the dangers involved in these kinds of Mobile Apps, it is unfortunate that are our children are testing with these Apps." It also said that the app's addiction can lead to a spoiled future, social stigma and medical health issues between teens, and cause paedophilia among other economic crimes within the cyberspace. "The Government has got the social responsibility to prevent these kinds of applications and also take actions against the persons, who are making use of it," said the order.
First, the government will receive the order. Then it will order Google or the ISP (Internet Server Provider) to block the application in India.
If the above mentioned is followed through, new users won't be able to download the app in India anymore.
It is not clear as to what will happen to those who are already on TikTok - whether they will be automatically blocked or allowed continued use. Also, the order doesn't say anything about any punishment (if at all) if the app's use is pursued still.
Recently, TikTok was banned in Bangladesh and Indonesia. The Madurai Bench thrives to have the same prohibition on the app's use in India as well.
Featured Image: TikTok
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