Government asks Apple and Google to take down the TikTok app from app stores


On Monday, Supreme Court refused to stay on the ban order given by Madras High for TikTok. So, the app will be taken offline in India.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has reportedly asked Google and Apple to remove the TikTok app from their app stores. Users who have already downloaded the app will still be able to use.

TikTok is a popular video sharing app that claims about 500 million users from which around 119 million users are from India. Most of these users are children and teenagers. The app lets users create short, fun videos but it came under fire for allowing ‘pornographic’ and objectionable content on its platform.

Following a PIL filed asking for the ban, Madras High Court passed the interim order directing the govt to ban TikTok on April 3. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court which refused to stay the Madras High Court order.

It is also worth to note that Madras High Court order had also prohibited media from telecasting TikTok videos. It also asked the government to make a cyberbullying and anti-child sexual abuse law similar to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA in the US.

If you read the community policy of the app, you will also realize that the app makers closed their eyes just because they were seeing the rising popularity and app downloads. The app has mostly teens aged below 18 years. Many of its users put sexually suggestive content for getting followers and views.

India is not the only country that created trouble for TikTok. In February US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had imposed a $5.7 Mn fine on TikTok because it failed to obtain parental consent from minors that is required as per the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of the country.

Bangladesh also blocked the app in February. Indonesia had also banned the use of TikTok for a week that was lifted after TikTok agreed to remove objectionable content. It also did the same in India and removed 5 million videos but that didn’t help.