TikTok continues to set the bar low with the crass content it churns on a daily basis. While till yesterday it was terrorism and acid-attack videos that made people shudder to their cores—TikTok today has shown its real ugly face with several videos promoting rape, violence, underage kids being sexualized and animal abuse having surfaced on the Chinese app.
Monitoring such large amount of vulgar content streaming on the platform is a Sisyphean task and consequently, the demands to outright ban the social media platform have been gaining momentum. TikTok’s rating has taken a nose-dive too, as Indians flock to the play store to give it low ratings.
One TikTok user Mujibur Rehman was seen promoting rape in a video that has come from the TikTok world. The boy, along with his friends, attempts to button up his shirt and zip his pants to suggest that they have raped the girl in the contentious video.
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
— CORONA WARRIOR MAYANK CHAUDHARY 🇮🇳 (@IamMayank_) May 19, 2020
In another video, the sexualization of a kid who apparently appears to be underage has left the netizens fuming.
— Ok_that's_WEIRD (@Tsy15041999) May 19, 2020
The animal abuse videos are routinely paraded across the platform and if it was not despicable enough to commit these heinous atrocities, such videos are recorded which then garner millions of views.
— MP (@mpopat) May 18, 2020
Why doesn’t @TikTok_IN review the content on their platform 😡🤬? Animal abuse, child abuse, vulgarity, objectifying women, all sort of disgusting things (even things that are illegal as per the law) are being promoted and in fact being Glorified there 😡. #tiktok #AnimalCruelty pic.twitter.com/u6ajFyNIRv
— Sunny Nehra (@sunnynehrabro) May 18, 2020
Covered by TFI yesterday, another TikTok ‘social-media influencer’ named Faizal Siddiqui was caught trying to promote acid-attacks on women by jilted lovers. In the contentious TikTok video, he can be heard saying, “Usna tumhe chor diya jiska liya tumna Mujhe chora tha” and then proceeds to throw acid on the girl. (“Did the man, for whom you abandoned me, leave you?)
He is Faizal Siddiqui, memeber of team nawab and brother of Amir Siddiqui
Is he promoting Acid attack on girls??
FYI he has 13.4M followers on Tiktok
What kind of Social media influencing is this? pic.twitter.com/h83VQbSvv5
— Intrepid Saffron (@IntrepidSaffron) May 17, 2020
While all these videos prove a point that TikTok has no place in a civilized society. Netizens calling a total ban on TikTok more often than not forget that the app, owned by the Chinese startup ByteDance is a big propaganda locomotive tool of CCP and China’s nefarious expansionist policies.
And if you dare utter a word against China or CCP on the platform, there are grave consequences—which an American teenager found out the hard way. The teenager during a make-up tutorial on TikTok started talking about the plight of Uighur Muslims in China which quickly went viral and was subsequently watched by millions.
The Uighur Muslims are tortured, harassed, and put through a world of misery in mainland China. Islam is considered a mental illness in the country and if anybody speaks about it on TikTok, the content is automatically censored.
The Chinese app also instructs its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong, according to leaked documents detailing the site’s moderation guidelines.
It’s a fact well known that June 4 is nicknamed “internet maintenance day” in China. A number of websites go offline around the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Similarly, the app tries to censor any content that contains such keywords.
Last year in October, search results on TikTok for “NBA Hong Kong” and “Blizzard Hong Kong”—two companies that had come under fire inside the U.S. for censoring speech on Hong Kong—yielded little or no relevant content, while the same search on YouTube yielded a wealth of results.
The concern that ByteDance and its CEO Zhang Yiming are thick as thieves with the CCP stems from the fact that a Chinese intelligence law requires companies like ByteDance to cooperate with the Chinese government when it comes to spying or matters of national security.
“All organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work, and guard the secrecy of national intelligence work they are aware of.” the Article 6 of China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law states.
Although TikTok has routinely denied sharing any data with the communist regime back home, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the pattern of Chinese censorship and how deep CCP has entrenched itself within the platform.
(The situation is eerily similar to marvel comic books storyline where Hydra infiltrates SHIELD and works in the shadows. Although both HYDRA and SHIELD are Chinese in this case, so yeah, no plausible deniability.)
The CCP collects bulk data overseas and then uses it to help with things that relate to state security like propaganda and identifying public sentiment.
A couple of days back, an e-Mail from TikTok to its Indian employees surfaced which specifically states that all content that is against the Chinese government or about Dalai Lama and Tibet, must be removed from the platform.
This is nothing but the China model of curbing freedom of speech as the CCP attempts to push its worldview through TikTok.
E-mail done by TikTok to their India employees for removing anything which is against Chinese Government, especially Tibet and Dalai Lama!
Is this your way China to curb the Freedom of Speech across the globe? pic.twitter.com/6ujBAcRogd
— Zankrut Oza (@zankrut) May 16, 2020
The Peterson Institute for International Economics has previously already warned that the “app could become a Huawei-sized problem” in terms of the access to the West potentially afforded to Chinese security services.
TikTok is a menace to society and in recent times it has become a safe-haven for criminals, sexual-offenders and profane individuals to broadcast vulgar, misleading, and outrageous content. For the CCP it is a great spyware tool for surveillance on its users in India particularly.
The app is total wreck and letting it flourish, all under the nose of government is a serious threat to nation’s security. Just the way Madras High Court had banned the use of app last year, similar action needs to be undertaken to ban the app—albeit permanently this time.