TikTok is under ‘siege’. The short video-sharing app which has over 1.5 billion downloads and over 800 million active users is facing a backlash because of a face-off between a TikTok star and a Youtube influencer. The app’s ratings have dropped from 4.9 on the Google Play Store earlier this year to 1.3 stars and continues to fall at the moment.
This is after users in India ganged up and started giving the app a 1-star rating following a trend to #bantiktok on Twitter. On the Apple App Store, however, it still has a respectable 4.8 rating at the moment.
Why The Backlash?
The whole trend to ban TikTok started when a popular TikTok star with 14 million followers posted a short video in bad taste that seemingly promoted acid attacks on women.
"Oh he is not throwing acid, he is just throwing a glass of water on the girl's face coz he rejected his advances"
As if it's okay to throw water, Somehow the smaller crimes get normalised. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/33CdctYtGP
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) May 18, 2020
Users also called out the platform for seemingly promoting rape.
Promoting RAPE Now? #TikTok you think you will keep on promoting video’s which will spoil our country’s youth and we will accept it? RT if you support #BanTikTokInIndia #tiktokexposed #tiktokrating #tiktokapp pic.twitter.com/x9nflhPGIl
— MAYANK CHAUDHARY (@IamMayank_) May 19, 2020
This follows from an earlier Youtube vs TikTok battle where Youtube influencer CarryMinati posted a video roasting TikTok star Amar Siddiqui, which was later removed from YouTube.
With over 70 million views, the video was quick to become the most liked non-musical Indian YouTube video. While the roast was about TikTok Vs YouTube, it took jibes at the queer community. This didn’t go well with the queer community.
The video was widely reported by the community with many people calling out the queerphobic slurs used by Carryminati. On 14 May the video was taken down by YouTube as it went against its policy of bullying and harassment.
These incidents have led to users downrating the app on the Google Play Store and calling for its ban.
This isn’t the first time TikTok is in trouble.
In April 2019, the Madras High Court ordered the Central government to ban downloading of the app, and the telecasting of videos made on the app. The court said that the app encourages pornography and puts children at risk, and to prevent this, issued a ban, which was later lifted.