The Madras high court has passed an order to ban download of TikTok

The Madras high court has passed an order to ban the download and use of popular mobile video-sharing app, TikTok.

Sitting at the Madurai Bench, Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar passed an interim order to this impact today, issuing the following directions:
The Government is directed to ban downloading of TikTok Mobile App. The Media is prohibited from broadcasting the videos created using TikTok Mobile App. the government has got to answer whether or not the Union of India will enact a statute, like the Children’s online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the youngsters turning into cyber/online victims.

The Court passed the order after expressing concern that the app hosts inappropriate content, as well as pornography, which is available for access to kids. The Bench has also expressed its consternation that minors are exposed to strangers online through TikTok.

“ Majority of the teenagers are playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos sharing with split screen to the strangers. The children who use the said application are vulnerable and may expose them to sexual predators …. Without understanding the risks involved in these types of Mobile Apps., it’s unfortunate that our kids are testing with these Apps.

Owing to such concerns, the app has conjointly been prohibited in certain foreign countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, notes the order. The fact there are reports of videos of third parties being uploaded on the app with their consent also entails a violation of the right to privacy. Once such concerns are at play, the Court has opined that the dangerous consequences flowing from the use of TikTok cannot be downplayed.

“… Nobody can be pranked or shocked or being made as a subject of mockery by any third party and it’d amount to violation of the privacy. It’s said that TikTok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it’s proved to be an addictive one.
By becoming obsessed with TikTok App., and similar Apps or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mindset of the kids are spoiled. “

Owing to such apprehensions, the Court highlights that the U.S.A. has already passed the children online Privacy Act to protect against the cyberbullying of minors. The Bench has suggested that the Indian government additionally enact a similar legislation.

“ In fact, understanding the vulnerability of the children in the cyber space, the United States of America has passed a statue called ‘Children online Privacy Act’, to prevent the kids becoming cyber victims. Such an Act is critical in our country also, as more offences against women and children are reported everyday using Cyber space.
Mainly, the Cyber-crimes are committed taking advantage of the unanimity of the person and the place from where it’s committed. Every day, the Cyber-crimes as well as economic crimes are increasing and even, the security of our country is also vulnerable. “

The Court goes on to remark that the government ought to have introduced such measures earlier on, especially after the furore caused by the Blue Whale challenge . it’s emphasized that the government has the social responsibility to act in such circumstances.

“ Even after that [the Blue Whale challenge], the officials haven’t learnt that they should be alert with regard to these kinds of problems. Only when the officials and policy makers are alive to the problems of the society, decision could be taken to prevent this kind of cyber applications.
The people are making cruel humour against innocent third parties. Even television channels are also broadcasting TikTok videos, which are liable to be prohibited. “

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