Apple and Google have removed TikTok, the popular short video platform from their respective app stores. The move comes after a ruling by the Madras High Court ordered both the platform developers to remove the application from app stores. The order was issued due to concerns that TikTok was being used to spread pornographic content. ByteDance, the Chinese developer of TikTok, appealed to suspend the order but the court refused the appeal, which has resulted in the app disappearing from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media platform in the past few months. The application allows users to create and share videos on the platform and is estimated to have more than 120 million users in the country. The app faced criticism from government officials and users for hosting inappropriate content. The app, which is particularly popular among teenagers, allows users to watch shorts videos by vertically scrolling through them. It’s popularity is driven by the fact that people can post short videos of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to their favorite songs or completing certain challenges.
The app is basically an advanced version of Dubsmash and has faced criticism all around the world for hosting inappropriate content. TikTok was fined in the US for illegally collecting information on children and it has been banned in Bangladesh. The order issued by Madras High Court asked the federal government to ban TikTok in the country.
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The court order said that the app encouraged pornography and young users became vulnerable to sexual predators through the application. After the ruling, the IT ministry sent a notice to both Apple and Google asking the platform vendors to remove the app. ByteDance, in its court filing, argued that only a minuscule proportion of content on the platform can be deemed as inappropriate or obscene. BBC reports that Madras High Court will hear the case again on April 24 but the app is likely to stay unavailable till the verdict.