In compliance with the Madras High Court’s order to ban video-sharing mobile app Tik Tok, tech giant Google and Apple have suspended access to the popular app over increasing complaints against the content. The Chinese app has been banned to abide by the court’s directive to prohibit its downloads, reported Reuters. The court refused a request by China’s Bytedance Technology to suspend a ban on TikTok.

The Madras High Court’s order to ban the social media app cited that the content was troubling and had pornography. On April 3, 2019, the state court had asked the federal government to ban TikTok saying it promoted derogatory content and was exposing children to sexual predators. This was in coherence with the public interest litigation (PIL), filed by an individual in which he demanded a ban on the social media app.

A letter was sent by the government to Apple and Google to adhere to the state court’s order, said an IT ministry spokesperson. The app has been discontinued by both Apple App Store and Google Play Store in India. On its move to discontinue the app, Google said it was adhering to local laws. Apple, on the other hand, hasn’t responded.

TikTok has become quite a phenomenon with the Indian audience with its short video-special effects format. Time and again, the app has been criticised by people as well as politicians for promoting inappropriate content. The app has been downloaded for over 240 million times in India, as reported by app analytics, Sensor Tower in February.

Till January 2019, TikTok was downloaded by 30 million users, a number which is 12 times more than its last year’s number in the same month. Chinese company Bytedance challenged the state court’s order in Supreme Court last week on grounds of violation of free speech. In response, the top court referred the case back to the state court which further rejected ByteDance’s request to put the ban order on hold.

 

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