Madras HC directs centre to ban TikTok, says it spoils children's mindset: Report

The court has also prohibited the media from broadcasting videos made on the application.

Update: TikTok has given out a statement regarding the Madras HC ban. 

"At TikTok, we are committed to abiding by local laws and regulations. We fully comply with the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011. We are currently awaiting the official order by the Honourable High Court of Madras and once received, we will review and take appropriate action regarding this matter. Maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment at TikTok is our priority. We have robust measures to protect users against misuse, protect their privacy and digital wellbeing. This includes easy reporting mechanisms that enable users and law enforcement to report content that violates our terms of use and comprehensive Community Guidelines. In order to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies, we have appointed a Chief Nodal Officer based out of India."

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has passed an interim order directed to the Center that prohibits the use of the TikTok app. The court has also prohibited the media from telecasting videos made from the mobile app.

Madras HC directs centre to ban TikTok, says it spoils childrens mindset: Report

Image: Reuters

A report by Bar & Bench also reveals that, according to the order, the government has to answer "whether the Union of India will enact a statute, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the United States, to prevent the children becoming cyber/online victims".

This order follows a petition in the court that sought a ban on the mobile app owing to the alleged 'inappropriate content' including pornography, that it carries, which is available for access to children. The petitioner said children who used the app would become vulnerable and exposed to sexual predators.

“Majority of the teens 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 dangers involved in these kinds of Mobile Apps., it is unfortunate that our children are testing with these Apps," the court said according to a report by Bar & Bench.

Owing to such concerns, the app has also been banned in certain foreign countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, notes the order.

“The government has a social responsibility to prevent these kinds of applications and also take action against the persons who are making use of it,” The Scroll reports the court as saying. The matter will next be heard on 16 April.

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