Tamil Nadu’s Information Technology Minister, M Manikandan, recently told the state assembly that they plan to ask the central government to ban the popular Chinese video app TikTok. He was responding to MLA Thamimun Ansari’s request to ban the app.
At the state assembly debate, the Nagapattinam MLA Thamimun Ansari said, “Now we all have smartphones on our hands and the app TikTok is degrading our culture and misleading our younger generations. Please take the help of the central government if needed and ban such apps.”
Responding to him, minister M Manikandan said, “We have also been getting requests from the public to ban the app. We will request the central government for the ban. Earlier, we banned the gaming app Blue Game, which was headquartered in Russia. Similar action will be taken for this app too.” Pattali Makkal Katchi chief S Ramadoss also demanded a ban on the app.
The Tik Tok application was created by a Chinese Information Technology company called ByteDance, formerly known as Muscially. The app allows users to lip-sync and enact popular songs and scenes from various films. People have considered it to be a threat to ‘Indian culture’, and have said that it ‘encourages pornography’. Young people are believed to seek attention on the app by being glamorous only to get into films or to become popular on social media.
There has been an instance when some youngsters landed in jail for making a video in front of a police station. In 2018, the 26-year-old Kalaiarasan, based in Chennai, committed suicide after he was allegedly trolled by others for posing like a woman in videos on the musically app.
The app, which has been popular in Asia since its launch in 2016, faced a temporary ban in Indonesia, in July 2018, after there were reports about pornographic content and hate politics. The country lifted the ban a week later, after making several changes to its security, and curbing sensitive content related to the government and its policies.
Even if the government brings a ban on the app, there are several other platforms that allow people to post videos which sync with popular songs and film dialogues. So the government must think of better plans if it wants to address such issues.