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Last Updated : Apr 18, 2019 05:04 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Furore over TikTok: Is banning the app the right fix?

The ban hasn’t gone down well with a lot of people, including the Internet Freedom Foundation, which said that it is concerned that app bans may slowly emerge as a standard practice.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

There is no denying that Indians are addicted to the Chinese video sharing platform TikTok and the ban has led to more people searching for an alternate way to get access to the app. And this is probably why banning is not the right solution, feel experts.

Talking to Moneycontrol, Roopak Saluja, founder & CEO of The 120 Media Collective, a communications and content group, said: "Whether this ban is permanent or temporary remains to be seen. In general, banning anything is not the right solution. You can't download it from Google App store or from Apple store but it is still there. Around 120 million subscribers still have access to it. So it is not really banned."

In fact, after the ban, how to download TikTok was the most searched trend online. While some couldn't believe that the app was banned in the country, others searched for alternate apps like Musical.ly. And this means that there is a huge appetite for such platforms especially TikTok that has around 24 percent of its user base belonging to India.

Hence, it is important to take measures other than banning to moderate content on the platform. According to Saluja, the government should tell ByteDance which owns TikTok that if you do not want this platform to have government obstruction or regulation then start moderating content to make it acceptable.

"But the government needs to define to ByteDance what it considers unacceptable content. And with practically minimal efforts these guys can actually remove or filter out graphic images, pornography or nudity. It is easiest thing to do with no manual intervention. So, if they really want to do it they can do it," he added.  

The ban hasn't gone down well with a lot of people including the Internet Freedom Foundation which on Wednesday said that it is concerned that app bans may slowly emerge as a standard practice.

Saluja also thinks that the ban will make people more curious about the platform.

However, the challenge for TikTok right now is to retain the user base especially with India being a crucial market for social media and mobile digital content thanks to sharp increase in the use of smartphones.

"The kind of numbers it gets out of the Indian market there is 600 million plus mobile internet users today so definitely it is a large because they have penetrated 120 million so far. ByteDance has heavily invested in India and they even fund companies. DailyHunt for example and a bunch of other companies are funded by ByteDance. After Alibaba and Tencent, they are one of the largest media entity or tech companies in China," said Saluja.  

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First Published on Apr 18, 2019 05:03 pm
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