TikTok Ban Row: Madras High Court Asks Government To Ban Video-sharing App For “encouraging Pornography”

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TikTok, formerly known as Musically, is facing legal troubles in India after Madras High Court asked the government to ban the video-sharing platform in the country for "encouraging pornography."

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Updated On:

TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, is facing legal troubles in India after Madras High Court asked the government to ban the video-sharing platform in the country for "encouraging pornography." Of late, TikTok is coping with similar conditions in several countries. Indonesia and Bangladesh have already imposed a ban on TikTok. 

Earlier, TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million fine to Federal Trade Commission in a settlement over allegations of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). As a result, TikTok is now restricting underage users below the age of 13 from using the app.

TikTok is created, owned and operated by China’s Bytedance. It allows users to create and share short video clips with special effects. Of late, TikTok has become a viral sensation in rural India.

It comes weeks after Tamil Nadu Information Technology minister M Manikandan said that the state will seek the centre’s help to ban the video-sharing platform that reportedly misleads children and youth.

READ | TikTok India says it has robust measures to protect users

TikTok is currently awaiting the official order by Madras High Court. TikTok said that it will take appropriate action after reviewing the court order. TikTok also maintains that it has “robust measures to protect users against misuse, protect their privacy and digital wellbeing.”

Here’s a full statement by TikTok:

“At TikTok, we are committed to abiding by local laws and regulations. We fully comply with the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. We are currently awaiting the official order by the Honourable High Court of Madras and once received, we will review and take appropriate action regarding this matter. Maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment at TikTok is our priority. We have robust measures to protect users against misuse, protect their privacy and digital wellbeing. This includes easy reporting mechanisms that enable users and law enforcement to report content that violates our terms of use and comprehensive Community Guidelines. In order to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies, we have appointed a Chief Nodal Officer based out of India.”

In February, the head of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Information Technology Amit Malviya said the party was tracking TikTok conversations and it was "a brilliant medium for creative expression."
 

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