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April 04, 2019

India Court Bans TikTok Social Media App for ‘Encouraging’ Porn

CYBERSPACE—Last year, a high court in India ordered the government to start blocking online porn sites, as AVN.com reported, supposedly in response to a high school gang rape incident in which the perpetrators claimed that they viewed internet porn prior to committing the violent sexual assault. Without public fanfare, the largest internet service providers in the world’s second most populous country imposed blockages on, reportedly, hundreds of porn sites. But the ban on porn was apparently a slippery slope, as reports soon surfaced in the media of the blockages also being imposed on non-porn sites, such as the audio site SoundCloud, for reasons that were not explained.  Now, reports have emerged claiming the online discussion forum Reddit, the 20th-most trafficked site on the internet, has been blocked by major Indian ISPs. According to a Wednesday report by the site Latestly, the messaging app Telegram and online video and audio site College Humor were also blocked. However, a report by the Indian newspaper The Tribune on Thursday said that the sites, when tested, were found to be accessible and operating normally.   At the same time, the Asai-based social media app TikTok is now the target of a new ban, imposed by India’s Madras High Court. TikTok provides a platform for users to quickly create and share brief video content. But the court said that the app was “encouraging pornography,” according to a Business Insider report—banning the app in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu immediately, and “directing” the national government of India to block downloads the app throughout the country of 1.3 billion people. The court order condemned TikTok for “containing degrading culture and encouraging pornography besides containing explicit disturbing content and causing social stigma and medical health issue between teens.”  The court also said the app should be banned because it allowed children to interact online with strangers which cold expose them to “sexual predators.” The court also said that “the future of the youngsters and mindset of the children are spoiled,” by becoming “addicted” to TikTok, according to a report by the India legal site Bar and Bench. The TikTok app reportedly has about 500 million users—with 39 percent of those, or about 195 million, coming from India, according to Business Insider. Photo By Toutiao / Wikimedia Commons Public Domain 

 
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