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TikTok ban in India to remain or go away? Review petition filed in Supreme Court

As per the company this ban “amounts to curtailing of the rights of the citizens of India…who have been using the platform every day to express themselves and create content.”

After popular video app was banned by the Madras High Court, China’s ByteDance technology has now requested the Supreme Court of India to reconsider this decision as it could hurt free speech rights in the country.

Bytedance, which is one of the most valuable startups in the world, owns TikTok which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects. This has found real traction in rural India. As per a report in app analytics firm Sensor Tower, TikTok makes it easier for people to make videos which and it has been downloaded more than 240 million times in India.

As per the company this ban “amounts to curtailing of the rights of the citizens of India…who have been using the platform every day to express themselves and create content,”. This was accessed by Reuters as part of a review filing in the court which asked for the setting aside of the ban.

Bytedance also said that only a very small portion of the content was flagged by users, which basically means that a very small population considered the content to be inappropriate and that this cannot be the premise for an umbrella ban on the entire app.

Last week, the court had asked the central government to ban TikTok as according to them it was encouraging pornography and also made children vulnerable to sexual content. Also, it added that jokes, clips and footages related to India’s movie industry dominate the platform and which makes young, impressionable minds impersonate them.

Although TikTok requires that users be a minimum of 13 years old to use the app, there were several instances of underage children being addicted to the app and this has irked the lawmakers who have now all ganged up demanding the ban on the app altogether.

“Not to discount the suggestive and problematic content on TikTok, but there are several other apps and platforms where borderline pornographic or pirated material is available, and solicitation is happening at a presumably larger scale, in India. Unlike these apps, TikTok has happened to garner more media attention, which is why it is facing scrutiny,” Nitish Chandan, a cyber security specialist and founder of The Cyber Blog India was as quoted by the NewsMinute.

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