Indian Government bans Tik Tok, asks Apple and Google to remove the app from their respective stores


16, 2019

Author Anmol // in News, Slider

Popular video creating app, Tik Tok has faced some serious backlash from people around the globe. Now, the Government of India has taken a serious step against the distribution and use of the app.

Following up on an interim order from the Madras High Court, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has ordered both Apple and Google to remove the app from their respective stores. The matter has been taken to The Supreme Court who refused to stay the order and that proceed with the hearings on 22nd April.

The High Court asked the government to prohibit download of TikTok application. It (MeitY) is ensuring that by asking Google and Apple to delete it from the app stores. Now it is up to the companies to do it or appeal the order.

The Government has stated the reason for the ban as the abuse of the app to distribute child pornography and illegal content. According to a survey in 2018, India accounts for 39% of the user base of Tik Tok. The company, on the other hand, has said it can’t be held responsible for the content uploaded by third-parties.

As per the proceedings in the Supreme Court today, the Madras High Court will hear the matter on ex parte ad interim order. The Supreme Court has listed the matter again for April 22, 2019, to be apprised of the outcome of the hearing on the April 16th, 2019 before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. At TikTok, we have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India. In line with this, we have been stepping up efforts to take down objectionable content. To date, we have removed over 6 million videos that violated our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, following an exhaustive review of content generated by our users in India.

– Tik Tok

Following this statement, Tik Tok India also released a statement welcoming the decision made by the Madras High Court.

We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court,” the statement from TikTok reads. “We have faith in the Indian judicial system and we are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives.

– Tik Tok India

Unfortunately, the decision doesn’t affect the 120 million people who already have the app install or those who might install it using apk files from third-party websites. Moreover, the app was still available on the app stores at the time of reporting so we are not sure how well the ban is implemented in the country. It’s not the first time, the Indian Government has taken a strong stance towards apps and games. Just last month, Gujarat enforced a state-wide ban on PUBG. The ban was said to be temporary to help students concentrate on studies. However, the Government is leaving no stones unturned to block Tik Tok, considering it has been a medium to spread illegal content and even child pornography.

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