Lip-syncing app TikTok has become a worldwide phenomenon after it merged with Musical.ly last year.
Now, lawmakers in India are asking the government to ban the app for allowing young adults to participate in “cultural degradation.”
A report in The Economic Times seems to indicate that the government agrees. M. Manikandan, the information technology minister of Tamil Nadu, recommends banning the app in that state. Nagapattinam lawmaker Tamimun Ansari brought the issue to the Central Legislative Assembly.
“I raised an issue forwarded to me by community welfare workers that the mobile application (TikTok) was acting as a platform for heated debates inimical to law and order, and sharing of sexually-explicit material.”
Because of TikTok’s popularity among young people, it has been abused the world over. Recently, an exposé demonstrated how the platform can be used to spread anti-Semitic and racist videos. Cyberbullying is also a huge issue on the platform, with at least one documented case of suicide following bullying on the app.
It’s estimated that there are over 20 million registered TikTok users in India, so a ban could have a huge impact on the app’s numbers. Speaking to The Verge, a TikTok representative said the company is planning on hiring a chief nodal officer for India.
Ansari says even if the government does not follow through with a full ban of the app, he and his team will seek more regulation. India has been cracking down on apps and services that it deems ‘unethical.’
Aside from porSoundCloud was recently blocked in the country as part of this policy. More than 827 websites were impacted under the order, with more likely on the way.