TikTok has issued a statement saying that safety and positive ‘in-app’ environment was their top priority after the Tamil Nadu government indicated it was exploring a possible ban on the app. On Tuesday, it was reported that Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister M Manikandan had said in the Assembly that the state government would seek the help of the Centre to ban TikTok.
The minister had said that Tamil Nadu was going to recommend a ban on TikTok app as it was “destroying Tamil Nadu’s culture” and “leading to law and order issues.” He further added that the Tamil Nadu state government will recommend that the central government should also ban the app throughout India.
The company said that it was “committed to respecting local laws and regulations, and in order to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies, we are also in the process of hiring a Chief Nodal Officer, based out of India.”
The demand for banning the TikTok app was first raised by AIADMK leader and Nagapattinam MLA Thamimun Ansari who had claimed that the app is “damaging” to Indian culture.
Ansari told The Indian Express, “Look at Saudi Arabia or China, they all have a system to restrict such apps. India is known for family culture, and the great values we teach our children. Most of the TikTok videos are nothing but dances and songs presented in a vulgar way. Many people are upset about this. If the government cannot ban it, I will follow up this issue seeking better regulation.”
What is TikTok app?
TikTok is one of the most popular mobile apps today. In 2018, it was one of the most downloaded apps on Android. The idea with TikTok is let to users create short, mobile-friendly videos which are synced with an existing sound byte. This can be a song, movie dialogue, or a politician’s speech.
The videos once recorded with the song or movie dialogue can be shared on other social media platforms like WhatsApp or Instagram. TikTok videos often tend to go viral on other platforms as well. While the exact number of TikTok users in India is unclear, the app has over 100 million+ downloads on the Google Play Store.
It also appears that the app is used by some to make fun of politicians by lip-syncing to their previous speeches, which has not gone down well with some in Tamil Nadu.
TikTok was launched in 2016, and later integrated with the Musical.ly app in 2018. This is a short-video creating and sharing app, and originally known as Douyin in China.