After a brief scare, TikTok, a massively popular app to create and share videos, is finally up and running in India. About 300 million Indians, who are 1/3rd of the population on the Chinese app, collectively breathed a sigh of relief after its return.
The video-centric app ran into trouble after it faced significant backlash, including allegations of quality control, wherein multiple reports surfaced with questions of how abusive or pornographic a general section of TikTok’s content was.
Developed by Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, TikTok was then taken down by Apple Inc and Google last week from their respective app stores after Madras High Court issued a directive to the Government of India to ban downloads of the app in India.
A new order by HC on Wednesday, however, lifted the ban, stating that "banning is not the solution" and "rights of legitimate users must be protected" on a condition that the platform should not be used to host obscene videos.
While the ban shouldn't have taken in the first place, here's why we think India and its citizens need TikTok in their lives.
1) Why ban it completely?
Simply put, why should millions of Indians suffer because of a few miscreants?
According to TikTok India’s senior advocate, Isaac Mohanlal, the company has put restrictive technology in place to ensure that content covering nudity, obscenity and of pornographic nature is not uploaded, created or distributed through the platform. Further submissions also included a comprehensive list of measures that TikTok has undertaken in order to remain legally compliant and operate in India.
Arvind Datar, an independent counsel, further stated that Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India protects the right and freedom of online speech. Furthermore, in the initial report filed from the court by BarAndBench, it has been revealed that Datar argued that it is unconstitutional to create a system where a “statutorily permissible” service becomes “judicially impermissible”.
Realising that the entertainment platform (as promised) would filter and flush out the garbage and the blanket ban was directly against the constitutional rights of Indians, the High Court ruled in TikTok's favour.
2) Peace of mind.
A daily entertainer for many, many desis, the app's ban from Google and Apple's app stores, left Indians restless. Or that is what Google suggests.
That's right. A majority of the population was disheartened and wanted to find a TikTok alternate. Google search trends from the earlier week showed that after the ban was declared, Indians desperately searched "how to download TikTok" online. As is evident from the graph below, "download tiktok" or "download tiktok app" saw a surge on Tuesday.
Why take peace of mind away from Indians?
3) Enhancing creativity.
Some paint, some create music, some go to open mics. Others login to their TikTok apps and put art up on display. Agree or not, TikTok is definitely a place for the janta to go, who are at their creative best on the app.
— Nitin (@nitinankad) April 19, 2019
I just saw this and.... pic.twitter.com/Emfy5v8AWc
— Rabel (@Rabihina) April 19, 2019
— Fza (@fizzlemashizzle) April 19, 2019
— Bread ka Badshah (@MamuKaAaadmi) April 20, 2019
4) Crash course in editing.
Gone are the days when people had to ask their "technical" pals to help them out with edits. The app has taught Indians to churn out some gems that will make you go how? Really.
This one's a little old but nothing has ever top this pic.twitter.com/unX2A3BcNz
— EnoughWithTheClown (@MOHITCHAUDHARY) April 20, 2019
This one is more legendary pic.twitter.com/0ac5PAHo55
— (@SbSamanbutt) April 21, 2019
5) Emotional outlet
Heartbroken? Sad? Upset? Angry? High on emotions and don't know what to do with all those feelings? Shoot TikTok videos to channel all that anger. James Hetfield will be happy, trust me.
I just wanna know who hurt him pic.twitter.com/dUvCyRUzwP
— Piña (@wajihas35) April 19, 2019
Absolute favourite. pic.twitter.com/juXzlsZEmL
— Angoor Stark (@ladywithflaws) April 20, 2019
— Chowkidar Notorious Banda (@matlabi_rokx) April 20, 2019
I'm actually very concerned pic.twitter.com/xN0xb3n1BN
— Wissemnehari (@wissemnehari) April 20, 2019
6) Bringing family closer.
Tired of Amitabh Bachchan's Baghban and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... taunts about adarsh parivar at your home? Not anymore. Because familes who shoot TikTok videos together stay together (and happy).
— Chinmaya (@ChinmayaR_) April 19, 2019
— (@an_axox) April 18, 2019
This by far the best for me! pic.twitter.com/yGAiFMNjlk
— FumblingFoe (@EmEyeEnAEL) April 20, 2019
7) Financial losses.
While the app is only fun and games for many, other users are pretty much dependent on the bucks they make through promotional videos and brand campaigns which they've earned through their celebrity-like popularity in different corners of India.
Apart from the users, the company too reportedly incurred heavy losses since the day the video app vanished from the app stores.
Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, TikTok's developer, was losing $500,000 a day, said the company during a court filing seen by Reuters.
The ban had also put more than 250 jobs at risk, the company added.