Madras HC asks centre to ban TikTok app

Chennai: The Madras High Court, as an interim measure, has directed authorities to prohibit the downloading of the TikTok app. The Court has highlighted the danger involved in the use of the mobile app.

As reported by Deccan Chronicle, the directive was given by a division bench comprising Justices N. Kirubakaran and S.S. Sundar who said, “The media is prohibited from telecasting the videos made using TikTok mobile app. The government has to answer whether the Union of India will enact a statute, like Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims”.

Further hearing of a Public Interest Litigation, which sought a direction to the authorities to ban the TikTok mobile app has been posted to April 16. The PIL stated that the app’s contents are degrading culture and encouraging pornography besides causing paedophiles and explicit disturbing content, social stigma and medical health issue between teens.

The petitioner contended that TikTok, created by Byte Da-nce, a China company was launched as “Dou-yin” in September 2016. It spread like a virus and 500 millions of people were using the said TikTok application. The bench added that in India, youngsters and children were using TikTok application and they were vulnerable in that application.

Saying that majority of the teens were playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos sharing with split screen to the strangers, the bench noted that the children who use the said application were vulnerable and may expose them to sexual predators. It was pointed out that the TikTok app was already banned by the governments of Indonesia and Bangladesh.

The bench said that the government has got the social responsibility to prevent these kinds of applications and said: “As an interim measure, the authorities are directed to prohibit downloading of TikTok mobile app.”