Mobile Internet

TikTok might face a ban in Tamil Nadu as ministers question the quality of content

TikTok app in appstore

TikTok, a Chinese application which was previously known as Musical.ly, is extremely popular in the subcontinent country. There is a huge following for the application as people are always posting something or the other on the app and also on other social media application. The youngsters, especially, are attracted to this magnetic concept. There are many people from many age groups using this application.

India is especially a huge market for TikTok as the application has a huge fan and user base in the country. Out of there 500 million users, 39% of users are Indians. This makes India its largest foreign market. The ByteDance-owned application has faced many controversies regarding its content. There was a lot of news regarding the type of videos on the platform. The lip-sync video creating app has a lot of content that is not for the children and yet appears on the screen. The application had claimed that it filters out content for children and doesn’t allow the app to work if the child is below 13.

That said, social media applications in India are facing a tough time. The government is bringing in regulations that are basically asking these applications to re-architect their product, which is practically impossible. Similarly, TikTok is going to face the axe if certain changes aren’t made. However, in the southern part of India, the app might face a ban as the discussion over it are pretty negative.

Tamil Nadu is looking at the consequence of banning the Chinese application altogether. This also has a lot to do with the content. The state government feels that the application is being used to spread hate and start debates against the law and order of the country. This might be true in some sense but the application has a lot of other things. However, the focus will always be on the negative things regardless of all the good things the application has.

The issue was taken forward by the IT minister of Tamil Nadu state, M Manigandan. He brought up the issue at the state assembly and it was taken up as an issue after lawmaker Thamimun Ansari also agreed with Manigandan and encouraged the idea of a ban. The duo believes that the application has sexually explicit content which is against the law and order of the state and the nation as well.

If the application gets banned in one state it won’t take a lot of time to get banned in the entire country. The effect of TikTok getting banned in India would be immense. The application would lose 39% of its users which is huge. That will be a huge blow to ByteDance and the entire TikTok community.

The application in the wake of such circumstances has appointed a new officer that will take care of the public policies in the country. Sandhya Sharma was snatched from Mastercard as TikTok is looking to strengthen itself and be bound by the law and order of the country.

TikTok also has two offices in India, one in Mumbai and one in Delhi NCR. This is because the Indian government has made all the Chinese apps, which have more than five million downloads, to have offices in India. There are a lot of other regulations the application-makers need to follow. The government especially tends to apps with a huge following and TikTok has a huge following and it will look at the content of TikTok in one way or the other. The application needs to be careful about its next steps as one wrong foot and the company would be shown the door by the government.

-Unmesh Phule

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