Madras HC bans TikTok, asks Centre to pass law to protect kids.
MADURAI: In an extraordinary move, the Madras high court on Wednesday ordered a ban on mobile music app TikTok, saying addiction to such apps was spoiling the future of the youth and the mindset of children.
A division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice S S Sundar issued an interim direction to the Union government to prohibit downloading the app. It also prohibited the media from telecasting videos made with the mobile app, used to create and share short videos.
Observing that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through TikTok, the judges said the government had a social responsibility to check such applications.
“The government has to answer whether the Union of India will enact a statute like the Children Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted by the US, to prevent children from becoming cybercrime victims,” the court said.
The court directions were in response to public interest litigation proceedings initiated by S Muthukumar of Madurai, who sought a ban on the app, saying it encouraged sharing of disturbing content and degraded culture.
‘TikTok use leads to health issues’
TikTok, originally known as Musical.ly, is an app created by a Chinese company in 2016. It has 500 million users worldwide, of which over 100 million are in India. In February, Tamil Nadu information technology minister M Manikandan said the state would write to the Centre to push for banning the app, an opinion endorsed by future alliance partner Dr S Ramadoss of the PMK.
Referring to it, the PIL said continuous usage of the app would lead to health complications among teens.
The judges, remarking that the petitioner had highlighted a dangerous issue, noted that there existed no problem as long as the app was used for humour, but nobody could be pranked or shocked or made a subject of mockery by any third party, as it would amount to violation of privacy.