TikTok fans are searching for proxies after Google, Apple blocks app

With millions in India already using TikTok and all of them having the option to share the app with others, blocking its access on Google Play Store and Apple App Store may not produce the desired results. On Thursday,  “How to download TikTok after the ban” was among the top trends on Google Search. 

Although the app is now not available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, people can get them from the third-party app stores such as apkpure, androidapkbox, uptodown and apkmirror. Moreover, any existing user of TikTok, who has the app installed on the smartphone, can share it with any such seeker through apps like ShareIt. Once the app is shared, the user can install the app and become a new user.

TikTok, which is very popular among children, is facing criticism for circulation of "pornographic content".

Google and Apple blocked the download of the Chinese short video-sharing app after the Madras High Court requested a ban on the app, claiming that it hosted inappropriate content which could be potentially dangerous for impressionable young minds. 

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court's refusal to stay the original Madras High Court order on April 3.

"I don't believe the TikTok ban is going to be very effective for now, given that tens of millions are using it. I also don't see how exactly this ban will be implemented," leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy was quoted as saying by IANS.

"This knee-jerk reaction of banning is impractical and doesn't solve the core problem. For instance, if there is abuse on Twitter, banning Twitter is not the solution," Roy added.

Owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, TikTok claims that it has over 120 million monthly active users in India.

The TikTok community is very much active in India despite an "interim" ban and the platform is relying on both technology and a "huge" content moderation team to prevent misuse, a top company executive said on Thursday.

TikTok said it was taking important steps including the use of technology and manual screening of content to curb the spread of inappropriate content.

But 2019 has been particularly rocky for the platform. Earlier this year, the operators of the video social networking platform agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allegations that the company illegally collected personal information from children.