The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Central Government to prohibit the download of Chinese video share mobile application Tik Tok on grounds that it serves as a platform for the distribution of explicit and inappropriate content likely to harm children.
“It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. By becoming addicted to Tik Tok App, and similar Apps, or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mind set of the children are spoiled,” the court observed in its interim order delivered on Wednesday.
The court order summarises to: The Government is directed to prohibit downloading of Tik Tok Mobile App. The Media is prohibited from telecasting the videos made using Tik Tok Mobile App. The Government has to answer whether the Union of India will enact a statute, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims.
A petition was filed by a Madurai-based senior lawyer-cum-social activist Muthu Kumar. Citing pornography, cultural degradation, child abuse, suicides, he had requested the court to direct a ban on TikTok.
TikTok, which was launched in 2019, is a social video app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Co. It is an app that allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, has over 54 million monthly active users in India.