Google takes down TikTok after SC refuses to stay ban

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Responding to the Madras High Court order, TikTok said, "We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae (independent counsel) to the court".

TikTok argues in the petition before the Supreme Court that if the ban imposed by the High Court is not lifted, it would cause irreparable loss to the petitioner and would give a significant advantage to the petitioner's competitors. The video-sharing app faced a massive backlash due to issues like inability to quality control, abusive and pornographic content are among significant reasons.

The app was still available on both Apple and Google platforms on Tuesday after the Tamil Nadu state court upheld the ban and it was not immediately clear if and when those companies would implement the court order.

YourStory reached out to TikTok about MeitY's directive to Google and Apple, and the company refused to comment on the matter. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said that it is keeping the issue open for further adjudication and would consider it on April 22.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos with special effects, is hugely popular in India but some politicians say its content is inappropriate.The government sent a letter requesting Apple and Google to abide by the state court's order banning TikTok in India, according to an IT ministry official.

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On April 4th, Madras High Court had ordered that TikTok app needs to be banned and had asked the take action on it. Users who had the app will continue to be able to use it.

At the time of writing this article, TikTok was still available in the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.

India is one of the largest users of the App, and the recent Government move will hit downloads of TikTok hard. TikTok now has over 120 million monthly active users in India. The case is up for hearing in the Madras High Court, after which the SC will decide on its fate on 22nd April.

Meanwhile, TikTok, in a statement, said: "We are committed to continuously enhancing our existing measures and introducing additional technical and moderation processes as a part of our ongoing commitment to our users in India". The interim order furthers censorship (albeit in the interest of vulnerable groups), and a future order along the same lines will lead to massive self-censorship and content-cleanup efforts across all major platforms who still wish to count India as their market.

Bytedance also argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene by its users.