Madras High Court lifts ban on China-based social video app TikTok

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Earlier this month, after an interim order from the Madras High Court, the Indian government banned the downloading of Tiktok mobile app. Following that order, Google and Apple removed the app from their respective Play Store and App Store.

However, now the Madurai bench of the Madras high court has lifted the ban on downloading of TikTok mobile application in India. The court has directed the TikTok developer ByteDance to regularly monitor and regulate content on the app. It also added that the failure to do so will attract contempt proceedings.

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A spokesman for TikTok said the company welcomed the court’s decision. He said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better.”

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the world’s most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally. The company recently revealed that it has over 120 million active users on its platform in India.

The Madras High Court had ruled to ban the Tiktok application after hearing a petition by senior advocate S Muthukumar. The petition said that children using the app were vulnerable to exposure by sexual predators and was encouraging pornography.

Acting upon subsequent instructions from the Ministry of Information and Technology, Apple and Alphabet’s Google both removed TikTok from their Indian app stores.

Shortly after the ban, TikTok said it had removed six million videos it deemed in violation of content guidelines in India. It also introduced an age-gate system to prevent users younger than 13 from accessing its platform.

China-based ByteDance argued in court that it cannot be held liable for actions of third parties on the platform. The app was like any other social media platform, it said, adding that singling out TikTok was discriminatory and arbitrary.

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