Success & popularity that comes easily, always comes with equal responsibility. TikTok also got fame in the Indian market and now is facing a fall too. With 4.6 stars to 2 TikTok has been facing storm lately.
A current in the seabed triggers a storm in the sea; similarly, an Indian’s act triggered this TikTok storm. An Indian YouTuber Carry Minati’s video titled ‘YouTube vs TikTok: The End’ called out the creators of TikTok for plagiarising content from YouTube amongst other things. Eventually, YouTube was forced to take off the video as a war erupted between YouTube fans and TikTok fans.
Apart from this incident that polarized the social media, even the ratings of TikTok has been severely affected on the app store. In less than a week, the ratings have come down to 2 from 4.6 with several Indians calling for a ban with trending #TikTokBan and #TikTokExposed on social media.
TikTok Lite has been exposed even more with the rating dropping to 1.3 on the play store. Even, the ByteDance-owned platform is also criticised rigorously for its weak content moderation policies that allows sharing of harmful and abusive videos.
However, many of the TikTok influencers have Initiated an outrage for social media users for promoting acid attack on women, rape, misogyny and many other problematic contents. The videos that go on viral with million views for a long time multiplying the root problems.
Rekha Sharma, Chairman of National Commission of Women, has called for an appeal to the Indian government for a complete ban on TikTok for showcasing and promoting objectionable content which impacts youths in a negative and wrong way.
Rekha Sharma tweeted, “I am of the strong opinion that @TikTok_IN should be banned totally and will be writing to GOI. It not only has objectionable videos but is also pushing youths towards an unproductive life where they are living only for few followers.”
Spokesperson of TikTok India stated, “Keeping TikTok safe is our top priority. We have made it clear in our Term of Service and Community guidelines that clearly outlines what is not acceptable on our platform. As per our policy we do not allow content that risks others safety, promotes physical harm, glorifies violence against women. The behaviour in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account and we are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate”
Old problems recur
Basically, this isn’t TikTok’s first controversy at all. The app which crossed 2 million global downloads last month has been criticised for promoting the reckless content in pursuit of vitality.
Even in the past, TikTok has invited ban by the Indian courts which came the last of which came in April 2019. However, this app has been growing uninterruptedly as hordes of first-time internet users across different places thronged to the video creation app.
In Q1 2020, TikTok recorded the best quarter for any app with over 315 million downloads over App Store and Google Play Store according to Sensor Tower. India is TikTok’s largest market globally with over 200 million users.
Every popularity comes tagged with responsibility
Sachin Sharma, Director – Sales and partnership of TikTok India shared “The safety of the users is a key priority for us. We are committed towards maintaining a safe and positive in-app for users along with abiding by and complying with the local laws. So, we have put in place protective measures by combining content moderation technology with a robust human moderation team. In India, moderation team covers major regional languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati etc.”
A TikTok spokesperson further added “With TikTok suspending user accounts that violate community guidelines, it prevents creators from logging into their accounts, post any content or interact with other content on the platform.” We stand committed to Ooh extending power support to law enforcement agencies for any further actions.”
Disney’s head of Streaming Kevin Mayer is appointed as TikTok’s new CEO. Mayer will also serve as the COO of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.