TikTok has been at the receiving end of criticism from various quarters in India. The short-video making platform is currently in the news for all wrong reasons, right from CarryMinati’s tiff with TikToker Amir Siddiqui to the outrage over Faizal Siddiqui’s video promoting acid attack. In the latest development, Maneka Gandhi expressed her displeasure over the videos that involve violence against animals on the platform.
The Sultanpur Member of Parliament took to Twitter on Friday to share excerpts of the letter she wrote to the India head of TikTok. The politician, who is known to be an animal rights activist and is involved with the People for Animals NGO, wrote that she was not accepting the answer from TikTok over her concerns and accused the platform of showing ‘no intention’ of following the government’s orders.
Maneka Gandhi replied saying that ‘appealing’ to the users to stop making videos was not the right idea and that they should take action against those posting such content. She listed how they put forth requests like removing ‘any form of gratuitous violence’, that all accounts posting content will be suspended and that their details will be handed out to the higher authorities for action. However, she claimed none of this was being done and accused the platform of concealing information over videos that involved cruelty related to a dog and a cat.'
The politician also terms TikTok's policies, that they do not allow content involving cruelty against violence, as ‘sanctimonious lies.’ She claimed that no action was being taken and that she had received 100 such violent videos in the last three months.
The BJP leader asked him he was working for India or China, and if ‘increasing followers at the cost of violence against animals, women and children’ was their sole motive. Terming it ‘not acceptable’, she hoped for a ‘firmer commitment immediately.’
My response to the head of TikTok India after he simply refused to take down accounts of users who have been posting graphic videos of violence towards animals or share their details so they could be handed to the authorities. We were just asked to “appeal” to users to not do so. pic.twitter.com/BbXyfdPykL— Maneka Sanjay Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) May 22, 2020
The short video-making platform issued a statement to Maneka Gandhi's tweet. A spokesperson of TikTok said that the videos posted on the platform promoting animal cruelty are against the platform's guidelines and the team will continue to remove such content. Here's the statement by TikTok -
"As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes or depicts animal cruelty. The behaviour in question is a violation of our guidelines and we will continue to take-down such content from our platform. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in sharing content online." – TikTok Spokesperson.