Madras HC Lifts TikTok Ban With No-Porn Rider

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Chennai: Madras High Court on Wednesday lifted the interim ban on Chinese-owned video app TikTok, subject to certain conditions.

The video app claims to have over 54 million active users in India. Deciding a case filed by advocate Muthukumar, the bench vacated its interim order banning the app, subject to conditions that pornographic videos will not be uploaded on it, failing which contempt of court proceedings would begin, NDTV and various agencies reported.

On April 3, Madras High Court had directed the Centre to ban downloading of the TikTok app in India following concerns over “pornographic” content. The top court had earlier refused to stay the Madras High Court interim order on grounds that it is temporary and the matter is still being heard in the high court. Following the government order, TikTok was blocked on App Store and Google Play Store, from April 18.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, which is hearing another petition that alleges the app “degrades culture and encourages pornography”, had earlier said that children using TikTok were vulnerable to exposure to sexual predators.

Challenging the high court order on TikTok, Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, had in its petition, told the Supreme Court that the interim order was passed without hearing them and such restrictions will “hurt free speech”.

ByteDance had pegged financial losses of up to $500,000 (roughly Rs. 3.5 crore) a day and said the ban has put more than 250 jobs at risk.

 

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