TikTok banned in India by Apple and Google over porn concerns

IPhone and Android smartphone users can no longer download hit app following court ruling

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 17 April 2019 10:45
Comments
The logo of TikTok, a short-form video-sharing app that has proved wildly popular in 2018 and 2019
The logo of TikTok, a short-form video-sharing app that has proved wildly popular in 2018 and 2019

India has banned the hugely popular video-sharing app TikTok over concerns that it was being used to share pornography.

In response to an order from the Madras High Court, both Apple and Google removed the Chinese app from its online stores.

The removal of TikTok from the Play Store and App Store means people with an iPhone or Android smartphone will no longer be able to download it, however anyone who already has it installed on their device will still be able to use it.

TikTok has grown into a global viral sensation among children and teenagers since launching in China in 2016. The firm claims to have around 500 million users around the world, with more than 120 million people in India currently using the app.

By allowing its users to film and edit short videos of themselves, TikTok claims it is able to "empower everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphones."

But the app has also been accused of illegally collecting information about children and allowing the dissemination of pornographic content.

According to the Madras High Court, young users of TikTok are also vulnerable to sexual predators.

Reaction on social media in India appeared to be largely critical of the ban, with people taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their dismay at not being able to download the app.

Others suggested that the ban amounted to online censorship on the part of the Indian government and could potentially set a dangerous precedent for other apps and services.

More legal hearings are due to take place at both the Madras High Court and India's Supreme Court later this month.

A TikTok spokesperson said the firm was "optimistic" about the outcome and had "faith in the Indian judicial system".

TikTok recently agreed to pay $5.7 million (£4.3m) to settle a case relating to its Musical.ly app, which the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claimed was used to illegally collect data on children under the age of 13.

The February settlement also required to remove any TikTok users who were under 13 years old from its app.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in