The honourable Chennai High Court has lifted its earlier ban on the Chinese short video App TikTok with a caveat that violations will be treated as contempt.
Understanding the importance of the Indian market to its business scheme of things, TikTok has moved quickly to remove 1000 offending videos.
While we agree that TikTok content is not classy, does this merit attention ASAP or can it wait a bit before the immediate demons i.e. national security and economic distress are first dealt with?
Having said that, any kind of child pornography is a deal breaker and the platforms must be hauled over the coals. But rather than blanket bans, which never help, the ideal thing would be to suspend the app for some days or inflict heavy fines, which will force the App to toe the line.
Also, there are a host of other apps (Bigo Live, YouTube, Instagram) having similar user-generated content, so just targeting one App would be unjust, and secondly, it would be a disservice to many other users who don’t post provocative videos. TikTok has become a platform for upcoming artists to showcase their skills; why deprive them an opportunity to become famous like Aashika Bhatia, Vishal Pandey, Mr. Manav, etc. Even known TV stars like Shubangi Atre, Avneet Kaur and Aashka Goradia post viral TikTok videos.
And when you can have open nudity and love-making scenes (Sacred Games) in web series in the name of artistic freedom, why deny the same to TikTok? We come back to the age old debate — what constitutes vulgarity and what about Khajuraho?
PS : The petitioner can move an SLP in the Apex court under the law.