The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it will seek the Centre’s help to ban the mobile application TikTok, The Indian Express reported. Information Technology Minister M Manikandan made the statement after All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA Thamimun Ansari raised the demand, claiming that the app was “damaging” to the Indian culture.
TikTok is a popular mobile application that allows users to create short lip-synced videos. Manikandan said the state government will recommend a ban on it the same way the alleged Blue Whale Challenge was tackled.
“Look at Saudi Arabia or China, they all have a system to restrict such apps,” Ansari told The Indian Express. “India is known for family culture, and the great values we teach our children. Most of the TikTok videos are nothing but dances and songs presented in a vulgar way. Many people are upset about this. If the government cannot ban it, I will follow up this issue seeking better regulation.”
Ansari told the Assembly that the younger generation is hooked to the app and is getting pushed on the path of cultural degeneration, the Hindustan Times reported. He also said the app had led to the spread of sexually explicit content and the morphing of people’s faces, especially women.
He said the app creates law and order problems, and many obscene activities take place on it, The News Minute reported.
“I will be the first person to be happy if the app is banned,” State BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said, according to The Indian Express. “These apps are mostly being used to ridicule people like me. It has crossed limits. The app started for an entertainment purpose has now gone beyond all limits now. I welcome if there is a move to ban it.”
The Congress, however, objected to the idea and said TikTok was an app for personal use.
The Blue Whale Challenge, which Manikandan referred to in the Assembly, was an online game in which a designated curator assigned players various tasks over a 50-day period, culminating in the player committing suicide. In 2017, several suicides across the country were linked with the challenge in some form of the other, prompting demands that the game be banned. However, the police had said that during investigations, there was little evidence connecting the suicides to the internet challenge.