Entertainment apps have always been huge hits in India. The best thing about these apps is that they help people showcase their hidden talents. Videos of some people went so viral that they got even film offers. Dubsmash and Smule were immensely popular among social media users. But TikTok beat them all. Definitely, the ban on the app is going to be a big disappointment to youngsters.
Google and Apple have removed TikTok from Play Store and App Store as directed by the Supreme Court. The app owned by Chinese company ByteDance has over 500 million users worldwide. Several users who have huge following on the app have slammed Google’s and Apple’s move. However, some favoured the ban citing the presence of inappropriate content. The ban means that no user in India will be able to find or download the app from Play Store or App Store again. The existing users still have access to the app, but the longevity of the app is indefinite. According to a ByteDance spokeswoman, the case is going on and they are optimistic about the result which will please the TikTok users in India.
“I believe the ban wasn’t the right action. The app makers should have ensured effective monitoring. Many people have created videos using audio clips from websites like YouTube which had copyright. However, the company neither checked for the copyright content nor they removed it. If we upload a video on YouTube which has the issue of audio or video copyright violation, it would be removed in no time,” says Ebadu Rahman, a Tech YouTuber based in Kochi. “It’s true that TikTok had some inapt contents. We can never upload a pornographic video to YouTube. Such a system should have been implemented in TikTok, which was a great platform for many to exhibit their creative talents. It’s really a great loss for many really skilled people,” he adds.
Ebadu believes that the ban is temporary and the company will soon be back with another instant app, which may gather even more followers. “That’s a sure thing. However, the same issue will happen again. TikTok was definitely a challenge to social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. So, if the company comes with another app, it should make sure that it complies with the rules and regulations, and should have definite monitoring over the uploaded contents. If they had definite monitoring, they wouldn’t have faced this ban.” Though the app is still available for existing users, he believes the app may soon disappear from everyone’s phone. “If there’s no update, then what’s the use of the app? The app many run for some more months, but if there’s no update or user registration, the app will finally get wiped out.”
In addition to the fact that the app had pornographic contents, it was also criticised as many people were hurt while creating the videos. People even got killed. The app is said to create psychological issues, too.
“TikTok causes many social and psychological issues among its users. Using any social network can be risky, but it’s possible for kids to safely use the app with adult supervision. When you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, so anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages etc. Many people who got addicted to this created many problems in their families and society. Those who use this regularly are ready to create any kind of cheap act for gaining publicity. These days China is creating many human psychology based apps and the threat they create is beyond our imagination. Rather than doing some productive work, people are wasting their time on how to become a celebrity in the cyber space. This Chinese app is indirectly creating the kind of issues which I would like to call ‘Psychological Tech Terrorism’, which can harm our society and our country’s productivity. I support this initiative by our government,” says Binosh Alex Bruce, Ethical Hacker and Cyber Crime Forensic Investigator.
Smrithi Sugathan, a final year Pharm. D student, who owns an Instagram page for TikTok videos, states that the ban was unnecessary. “It is just banned from Play Store and App Store. This hasn’t affected the frequent TikTok users in any way as they have still access to the app. Only the new users will be denied from using TikTok. My point is that they could have just removed the videos that had explicit contents. TikTok was a platform for users to exhibit their creativity. But nowadays, the app is for getting more likes, comments, share and publicity. So, a ban on it would put an end to the nonsense we come across in many TikTok videos.”
Rather than doing some productive work, people are wasting their time on how to become a celebrity in the cyber space. I support this initiative by our government Binosh Alex Bruce
I believe the ban wasn't the right action. The app makers should have ensured effective monitoring. If they had definite monitoring, they wouldn't have faced this ban – Ebadu Rahman
(With inputs from Fathima Shareef)...