TikTok Ban Will Hurt Free Speech Rights, China’s ByteDance Tells Supreme Court Of India

Written By Tech Desk | Mumbai | Published:


  • The court order to ban TikTok app in the country will hurt speech rights, according to ByteDance
  • ByteDance has requested SC not to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok amid controversy

The court order to ban TikTok app in the country will hurt speech rights, according to ByteDance, a Chinese company that owns and operates the video-sharing app. ByteDance has requested the Supreme Court not to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok amid controversy.

A ban “amounts to curtailing of the rights of the citizens of India...who have been using the platform every day to express themselves and create content,” Reuters reports citing the company’s Monday court filing which has not been made public.

Last week, Madras High Court’s Madurai bench had directed the Centre to ban TikTok and raised concern over the "pornographic and inappropriate contents" being made available through such apps.

READ | TikTok ban row: Madras High Court asks government to ban video-sharing app for “encouraging pornography”

The court order followed the Public interest litigation( PIL) alleging that the TikTok encouraged paedophiles and the contents were very disturbing.

Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear a plea that challenges a Madras High Court order directing the government to ban the TikTok app for "encouraging pornography." Supreme Court’s hearing has been scheduled for April 15.

The court order came weeks after Tamil Nadu IT minister M Manikandan said that the state would seek the centre’s help to ban the video-sharing platform that reportedly misleads children and youth.

Over the period, TikTok has become a viral sensation in the country. The app allows users to create and share short video clips with special effects and audio.

READ | TikTok ban controversy: Supreme Court to hear plea challenging Madras High Court order on April 15

Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to hear the plea filed China's ByteDance, which said TikTok has over a billion downloads and the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had passed an ex-parte order.

The platform is currently dominated by user-created dance and music videos related to India’s film and entertainment industry. In TikTok videos, users lip-sync and dance to music.

Bytedance said that TikTok users ver users flagged only a small portion of total videos considered to be inappropriate or obscene and the video-sharing app was primarily used to share amusing videos. Bytedance also argued that it could not be held liable for what its users post on the platform.