Videos promoting sexual violence, acid attacks and domestic violence on the Chinese micro-video sharing app have incited demands that it be banned on Twitter, with the hashtag #IndiansAgainstTikTok trending on social media as objectionable content has drawn flak from netizens.
On Tuesday, India’s National Women’s Commission took note of a video from TikTok star Faizal Siddiqui promoting acid attacks. It is not just the objectionable content that has become problematic; a lot of people believe that the Chinese app is leading youngster to forego more productive pursuits.
This is completely disgusting.— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) May 18, 2020
Delete the account of #FaizalSiddiqui that instigate committing violence against women. He is promoting Acid Attacks to young girls and women. This is unacceptable. #ArrestFaizalSiddiqui #BanFaizalSiddiqui pic.twitter.com/CcqxlfUfpX
#IndiansAgainstTikTok shame on you #BanTiktok please uninstall Tiktok #Shame #tiktokbanindia #tiktokleaked #tiktokbanindia #shameonyoutiktok#shameonyou_mujibur_Raman— Shashank Shekhar Singh (@Shashan17325891) May 21, 2020
Uninstall uninstall uninstall uninstall Tiktok pic.twitter.com/dflPRWssh3
A petition is also doing the rounds seeking ban on the app from the Indian government.
हम जब कोई ऐप डाउनलोड करते हैं तो प्राइवेसी की शर्तों पर ज़्यादा ध्यान नहीं देते. बस ' यस ' और ' अलाउ ' पर टिक करते चले जाते हैं. हम अपनी फ़ोटो गैलरी , लोकेशन और कॉन्टैक्ट नंबर...इन सबका एक्सेस दे देते हैंhttps://t.co/4HKPxPyOUT@PrakashJavdekar#IndiansAgainstTikTok pic.twitter.com/vYHlJrR7Go— SCAwasthi#KRT (@SCAwasthi4) May 21, 2020
This Tik-Tok app. Makes use of same human psychology and promotes you to play stupid acts and more stupid you can be more popular you might become.https://t.co/tkJZhtSUyZ— बलवीर सिहँ प्रशासक समिति (@U54WxtGL80XZzKw) May 21, 2020
Click on the link, sign petition against tiktok@PrakashJavdekar#IndiansAgainstTikTok pic.twitter.com/rP9USORPQ2
Following the heated debate on social media, the app has released a statement stating that they are removing content which violates their policies and urged users to act responsibly.
Ever since the video of the acid attack surfaced on social media platforms, the rating of the app has fallen by two stars on Google Play Store.
However, this is not the first time that the Chinese video app has come under fire for its content. Last year, the Madras High Court banned the app over child pornography concerns and allegations of cultural degradation; the ban was later removed, albeit with some regulatory caveats. The app has also been accused of allowing videos that could trigger communal violence.
In September 2019, TikTok was the most downloaded social media app worldwide, with close to 60 million installs. According to an update from marketing intelligence firm Sensor Tower in November 2019, with over 200 million users, India had become the biggest market for TikTok with 44 percent of total downloads.
The app has raised several security concerns regarding personal data in India and the US, where an official investigation was launched into the multi-media platform.