TikTok Ban in India: Is Off-Colour Content is the Only Reason?

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TikTok Ban

With 120 million monthly users in India, the social networking site, TikTok, was going from strength to strength but only until The Madras High Court decided to intervene. Now, the app has suddenly vanished from app stores following an indefinite ban imposed by the honourable High Court over concerns of promoting pornography. The matter is now in the Supreme Court.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is essentially a social media platform for creating and sharing short videos. Erstwhile Musical.ly, TikTok allows you to upload sound-tracked 15-second videos for fellow users to like, share and comment. You are at liberty to use cut, trim, merge, duplicate and other thoughtful editing tools to create the desired effect minus ado. Lip syncing a popular song or enacting a scene from a movie or sitcom, it’s all easily doable with the social app, which speaks of its popularity.

The app saw the light of the day in 2016 when its parent company, ByteDance, unleashed it in China as Douyin. With the concept of 15-second video sharing platform gaining traction, the parent company took it to the international arena a year later by the trade name TikTok. An epoch-making moment for the app arrived on November 9, 2017, when it was merged with yet another vastly popular video-sharing app, Musical.ly. Ever since, TikTok has gathered impressive numbers, making it one of the leading social apps in the world.

Why was it banned?

As several news channels broke the news of a crackdown on TikTok, there was a furore among 20 million active users and advocates of free-speech. Social media platforms, notably Twitter, went abuzz with memes and conspiracy theories that made little sense. However, the court had sound grounds to implement a ban, which is currently being contested in the apex court.

As per some News portal, the content circulated on the social platform was inappropriate for minor viewing. The court found the content to be adulterous, sleazy and crass enough to pollute and distract gullible teenagers who constitute the major chunk of the TikTok’s user base. The court also objected to the imprints of child pornography that were too profound to ignore. The app also came under fire for failing to implement a proper mechanism to control the circulation of objectionable content. So, for many, the ban was always on the cards.

Trouble was brewing for TikTok for long, thanks to a flurry of unfortunate incidents that took place across India. Here’s a few of them.

  • Delhi Shooting: The infamous incident that hastened the TikTok ban occurred in New Delhi when a 19-year-old boy was accidentally shot dead by his friend. The boys were shooting a TikTok video using a local-made pistol.
  • Tamil Nadu and Punjab accidents: A young man in Tamil Nadu crashed his scooter into a bus, killing himself during a TikTok video shoot. A similar incident unfolded in Punjab when a man was crushed by a tractor while shooting a video.
  • Malapura rioting: For the viewer of ETV Breaking News, Malapura rioting came as a shock. It was instigated by Nillu-Nillu challenge promoted on TikTok.


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Nirmalya Ghosh
Nirmalya has done his post graduate in business administration and now working as digital marketing executive in a US based firm. He loves to share the trending news and incidents with his readers. Follow him in Facebook or Twitter.