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TikTok under the scanner again, as government asks for clarity on unlawful content

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TikTok has been in a lot of controversies this year and just when we thought the dust had settled, more problems have started cropping up. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) raised a few questions towards TikTok regarding the way it handles user privacy. Tiktok was accused that its developer, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, had a poor track record on privacy protection.

The app was briefly banned in India back in April because it promoted sexualised content on its platform, which could expose children to sexual predators. The ban was lifted shortly but now MHA has asked to give more clarification on the unlawful content present or being circulated on the social media app.

(Also read: TikTok parent ByteDance to setup international data center in India: Report)

TikTok

According to the Minister of State (MoS) for Home G Kishan Reddy, TikTok app is an intermediary as per the Information Technology Act 2000. In this regard, IT Act has provisions for removal of unlawful online content. Section 79 of IT Act and IT Act (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 requires that the intermediaries shall observe due diligence while discharging their duties and shall Inform the users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is grossly harmful, harassing, defamatory, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, or otherwise unlawful in any manner.

Intermediaries are also expected to remove any unlawful content as and when brought to their knowledge either through court order or through a notice by an appropriate government or its agency, the minister informed the Parliament., India Today reports.

TikTok is also trying its best to stay in the market and has reportedly purchased Jukedeck, an AI music startup in the UK. And not just that, the app has also seen a growth of 588 percent in user spending since the past year as the numbers jumped from $ 1.6 million to $10.8 million in June 2019.

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