In an interesting turn of events, the TikTok ban controversy was finally put to rest on Wednesday after the Madras High Court lifted the interim ban that was ordered earlier this month and implemented last week. But in spite of the high court’s ruling, the TikTok app is still missing from Google Play Store and Apple App Store and we don’t know yet when the app will make a comeback or what is the reason behind the delay. We have learnt from someone familiar with the matter that ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok, is waiting for the final court order and once the company receives the court order, TikTok will be available to download once again.
“We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better. While we’re pleased that our efforts to fight against misuse of the platform has been recognised, the work is never “done” on our end. We are committed to continuously enhancing our safety features as a testament to our ongoing commitment to our users in India,” TikTok said in its statement.
However, the ban on TikTok was lifted with the condition that the platform should not be used to host obscene videos. A bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar of the Madurai bench of the high court warned that if any "controversial" video violating its conditions were found posted using the app, it would be considered a contempt of court. The high court had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban the mobile app TikTok, which is used to create short videos, as it voiced concern over "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps.
Vikas Srivastava, founder of a Mumbai-based law firm VKS Attorneys & Solicitors, believes we need to have a regulator in place which can act as watchdog for apps enabling sharing of videos and if such videos are against the public policy and contravenes provisions of Information Technology Law like data privacy and pornography then such apps should be banned.
ByteDance plans to invest USD 1 billion in the country over the next three years and increase the number of employees in India to 1,000 persons by the end of this year. ByteDance says about 25 per cent of these roles will focus on content moderation.
(With agency inputs)