The Madras High Court lifted the ban on further downloads of TikTok video sharing app in India on Wednesday. This means, TikTok will be available for download again on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store soon – after having been taken down from the respective platforms following an order by the Supreme Court of India.
The Madras High Court had previously asked the government to ban TikTok in the country alleging that, the short format video sharing service was encouraging pornography and acting as fertile ground for sexual predators and pedophiles. The Supreme Court had then directed Google and Apple to remove the Tiktok app from the Play Store and App Store respectively – in turn blocking further downloads via official channels. There was no ban on the use of TikTok per se though. As also on downloads via unofficial channels.
Bytedance, the Chinese company behind TikTok, had challenged the Madras High Court’s order in the Supreme Court last week, arguing that it was against the right of freedom of speech in India.
TikTok, an app that allows users to create and share short videos (often involving dancing, lip -syncing) with others on the platform, has seen a meteoric rise, especially in India. TikTok has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, according to data released by analytics firm Sensor Tower. Globally, it has chalked up more than 1 billion downloads.
But it has also been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. TikTok is seemingly aware of its apparent dark side and it is also working to fix things – only recently it came up and said that it had removed over six million videos since July 2018 that had violated its community guidelines in India. This was part of TikTok’s “ongoing efforts to make its millions of users feel safe and comfortable within the community by empowering them with the right tools and resources,” it had said.