Indian politicians want to ban the popular video-sharing app TikTok, accused it of spreading fake and hateful content, and sharing user data with the Chinese government.
At least four prominent members of the Indian parliament have expressed concern about TikTok being “vulgar” and “indecent” in the past two weeks alone, including senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Jayadev Galla of the Telugu Desam party, Pinaki Misra from the Biju Janata Dal party and Dharambir Singh from the ruling Bharatiya Janata party.
The concern was heightened recently when a viral video posted on TikTok was criticised for spreading religious hate speech, and the Mumbai police demanded that it to be taken down to avoid violence.
India is TikTok’s biggest overseas market, where it was downloaded 250 million times in 2018, according to data from SensorTower.
“Under the guise of freedom of speech, people are using apps like TikTok to spread fake news and malicious content. During Zero Hour in parliament, I called for the ban of TikTok and similar apps which pose threat to India and its democratic process,” Mr. Galla wrote on Twitter.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a powerful economic lobbying group allied with India’s ruling BJP, is expected to send a letter to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi also calling for a ban. In February, the group said “these apps are known for sharing the details of children and being an open ground for child pornography and possibly anti-national activities.”
Source: Financial Times