TikTok ban: Short-video app's popularity dips amid growing call for ban

TikTok has over two-billion downloads on Google Play Store, which accredits it as ‘Editor’s Choice’ for the best social media app
Short-video sharing platform TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, is facing a huge backlash in India after an internet war broke out between its influencers and YouTube content creators. The app's rating on Google Play Store reduced to 1.3 stars on May 20 from more than 4.5 stars only a few days earlier. Moreover, there has been a growing demand for a ban on the platform in India owing to alleged distribution of insensitive and hateful content on TikTok.

Recently, the National Commission for Women (NCW) wrote to the video-sharing social networking service TikTok over a video in which one of its users allegedly glorified acid attack and crime against women. The video has been taken down since, and the user's account has been suspended.

Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the NCW said several videos of women being abused had been shared on the platform. Expressing her views on Twitter, she said that the platform should be banned as the app was pushing youngsters towards unproductive life where they were living only for a few followers.

She said her attention was drawn to a video where a person seemed to be throwing acid on a girl. “We wrote to TikTok to take it down and they cooperated. Soon, we were shown hundreds of videos with abusive content — videos inferring rape, domestic abuse and molestation. We got in touch with TikTok and showed them some more of the videos; we are waiting for their response,” said Sharma.

"Keeping people on TikTok safe is a top priority and we make it clear in our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines that clearly outline what is not acceptable on our platform. According to the policy, we do not allow content that risks safety of others, promotes physical harm or glorifies violence against women," news agency IANS quoted a TikTok spokesperson as saying.

TikTok has over two billion downloads on Google Play Store, which accredits it as ‘Editor’s Choice’ for the best social media app. It leads the charts on Play Store and had more than 600 million users in India by April 2020.

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