On 3 rd April, popular video sharing Tik Tok joined the ranks of PUBG when it too was banned. The Madras High Court held that the app broadcasts inappropriate videos and content. The court also added that it encourages pornography. Hence Tik Tok was removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
How do you feel about Tik Tok ban? Are you worried that maybe one day you will wake up to see YouTube banned or do you have absolute faith in the action of the court?
Tik Tok was formerly called Musical.ly and allowed users to dub videos to certain parts of popular songs. This ban has left many devastated but some question the very principles of the right to expression.
The most affected people are the “Tik Tok Stars”. These famed stars are the most affected and you can often spot a few campaigning for their right to expression as they feel that this ban curtails it.
The app allowed users to create accounts that could be followed and have since then reached internet fame. They sponsored various products in their videos for a varying fee. With Tik Tok gone, most of these internet celebrities lose a major form of earning.
Is Tik Tok banning the only solution?
There are two views to this.
- The first is that this only sets a precedent. A precedent that shows how the government can slowly encroach onto other apps and forms of social media.
- The other is that while the government may want to impose content restrictions on the app, it can’t do so because the app belongs to a foreign company and hence a blanket ban, although not a good option, is the only option.
There are many people who wonder to what extent a complete ban can be imposed. There are many such apps and websites like YouTube, Vine and SoundCloud are available.
Need for a Regulatory Board
Regulatory Boards for various things exist in this country. The Censor Board for Film Certification is an example. A fixed body to regulate contents on app stores across various mobile platforms doesn’t exist merely because it’s a utopian concept. The driving range of these devices is their very free nature. All of our apps on our phones are a part of the internet ecosystem that exists everywhere around us.
An ecosystem-based solely on the demand and supply of data and information. If you redact one supply, another source props up. Apps banned on the Google Play Store are freely available across various websites and can easily be installed into phones.
As per media report, post ban, Tik Tok download from a website APKMirror has increased 12 times.
Hence, a regulatory body will have to have a size and jurisdiction that is outside our imagination because the internet ecosystem grows more densely around us every