TikTok India ban lifted by the Madras High Court

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 25 Apr 2019
TikTok India ban lifted by the Madras High Court
  • TikTok is no longer banned in India.
  • The interim order to stop TikTok downloads in India has been vacated.

Update 2:52PM: Sources tell Digit that the written court order vacating the ban on TikTok is expected to reach the Ministry of Electronics and information Technology (MeitY) soon. Post this, MeitY will issue an order to Google and Apple to reinstate the app. This could take a couple of weeks. The app is currently not showing up on both iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

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Update 12PM: After checking for the TikTok app on the App Store and Play Store across different devices, we found the app on iOS, but its Play Store listing has disappeared yet again. We have contacted TikTok for clarification on the same.

Origininal Story: The popular video sharing app TikTok is no longer banned in India. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court vacated the ban it imposed on the app and TikTok is now back up on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The interim order banning downloads of the TikTok app was given by the Madras High Court on April 3. The app was subsequently removed from Google and Apple’s app stores in accordance with the High Court’s order. The ban on the app has now been lifted contingent to steps taken by the app makers to introduce content moderation and regulation of obscene content on the platform.

Appearing on behalf of TikTok, Senior Advocate Isaac Mohanlal told the Madras High Court that the app has moderation technology in place to evict nude and obscene content, the reason why the app was banned in the first place. Petitioners had alleged that TikTok promotes pornography, child abuse and suicide. When the appeal against the ban reached the Supreme Court, the apex court directed the Madras High Court to consider a plea by the app developers on April 24.

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After the hearing on Wednesday, a Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar lifted the ban on TikTok. However, the court said that the company could be charged with contempt of court if it was found that obscene content on the platform is still not being moderated.

Commenting on the matter, TikTok shared an official statement saying, “We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our users better. While we’re pleased that our efforts to fight against the misuse of the platform has been recognised, the work is never “done” on our end. We are committed to continuously enhancing our safety features as a testament to our ongoing commitment to our users in India.”

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