Stringent action needed against repeat offenders like TikTok

    The National Crimes Records Bureau’s ‘Annual Report on Crime’ suggests that crimes against women in India are on the rise. While a host of reasons are behind this rise, the abuse of social media is emerging as one of the major culprits.

    Chinese short video messaging app ‘TikTok’—which has often made news for the wrong reasons– recently promoted two videos glorifying acid attack on women and rape. Both videos went viral.

    While the National Commission for Women is seeking a ban on this app for the objectionable content it promotes, it is high time that the government steps in and bans this app.

    Firstly, the social media application is in violation of many laws and hasn’t bothered to regulate its users’ behaviour. It is in India’s national interest to immediately remove any content that seeks to glorify crimes against women.

    The citizens do have a fundamental right to express themselves. However, Article 19 (2) places certain reasonable restrictions on this right.

    Secondly, it has been reported earlier that communal hatred and a divisive agenda is being spread through this application by forces inimical to the unity and integrity of India.

    Lastly, China has been in the habit of stealing personal data of users of other nations and there is concern that TikTok could be one app which is stealing data of Indian citizens. This involves a matter of sovereignty and the Indian government needs to step in.

    Stringent action against TikTok is what is required to send a message: that social media cannot be allowed to promote crimes or damage a country’s social fabric.

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