BAN ON TIKTOK APP WOULD HARM FREE SPEECH, CHINA’S BYTEDANCE TECHNOLOGY TELLS INDIA’S SUPREME COURT Prashant's Blog
BAN ON TIKTOK APP WOULD HARM FREE SPEECH, CHINA’S BYTEDANCE TECHNOLOGY TELLS INDIA’S SUPREME COURT

Madras High Court had asked the government to ban TikTok last week, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. TikTok created by Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, where users record short clips and share them on social networking platforms. TikTok becomes very popular in India, TikTok downloaded more than 240 million times in India.

China’s Bytedance Technology Co said banning TikTok will hurt free speech rights, has said in a request for the Supreme Court to quash the directive.

The company's Monday filing is not public and has not previously been reported. The Supreme Court has set next Monday for a hearing. 
Bytedance did not respond to a request for comment. India's information technology ministry also did not respond. 

The story was started in February, the IT minister of Tamil Nadu (DR. M. MANIKANDAN) described some of its more suggestive dance content as "unbearable", while a Hindu nationalist group close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for the app to be banned.

Also in February, the BJP's chief of information technology, Amit Malviya, said the party was tracking TikTok conversations and called it "a brilliant medium for creative expression".

The Madras High Court, which has been hearing public interest litigation against the app, on Wednesday said children who were using TikTok were vulnerable to exposure to sexual predators.

"Inappropriate" content was TikTok's "dangerous aspect", the court said in an order seen by Reuters, adding that "there is a possibility of the children contacting strangers directly".

A TikTok spokesman told Reuters the company was committed to abiding by local laws and was awaiting a copy of the court’s order, following which it would take appropriate action.

"Maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment is our priority," he said.

India's federal IT ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As well as asking the government to ban the application and prohibit its downloads, the court said TikTok videos should not be broadcast by media.

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Content @economictimes