Update: After a week-long ban, the Madras High Court has removed the interim ban on TikTok. So, they are available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and users can once again download them.
The TikTok app is removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India. Child Pornography has been highlighted as the main cause of the ban. However, this only blocks the new users while the current users are not yet impacted by this new turn of events.
India banned TikTok, a flourishing short-video social media app of recent times, following the mounting legal pressure. Madras High Court order had asked the Centre to ban the viral app, and the same has not been negated by the apex court as well. Following this, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked Google and Apple to ban TikTok from their respective app stores.
“By becoming addicted to TikTok App, and similar apps or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mindset of the children are spoiled. Majority of the teens are playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos and sharing with split screen to the strangers. The children who use the said application are vulnerable and may expose them to sexual predators,” Madras court had observed.
A few days back, a 19-year old teen was shot dead as pistol went off while filming a TikTok video. Accidents like these could have triggered the law and order to interfere. So, while the Supreme Court comes up to a decision, Meity directed the tech giants to pluck away the app from the online sources. But, tiktokers who are already using the app could take a breath of relief as this decision won’t impact them, Period.
The Tiktok-related accidents and deaths are a major cause of this action but the mockery of the political system and law enforcement are also attributed as reasons. Another major disconcerting drawback highlighted is the spread of pornographic and inappropriate content. Thus the decision of the Madras High Court to prohibit media from telecasting TikTok videos.
The company also raises its concern towards the curb of free speech resulting from the legal intervention. Rightfully speaking, we could be a proponent of this claim. However, the company must regulate its community guidelines and restrict inappropriate content. And in time, there could be a beacon of hope for the app users.