Google blocks TikTok in India following court order citing concerns over exploitative content

Google has blocked TikTok users in India, which is one of the application's largest user bases, to access the application after a court order, according to a new report Reuters .

a request by the state court on April 3 to prohibit access to TikTok in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store after concerns were raised that people were using it for pornographic purposes and exploiting to children, Reuters reported. Letters were sent to both Google and Apple; The application was removed from the Play Store, but it is still in the App Store. TikTok has been downloaded more than 230 million times in India, according to the Sensor Tower analysis firm.

The Indian state court investigation into TikTok has been ongoing for months. A third-party investigation into the application and previous government calls led people to request that TikTok be banned altogether. M. Manikandan, minister of information technology of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, announced in February that the government would recommend the ban. Lawmakers expressed concern that TikTok encouraged teens and young adults to participate in "cultural degradation."

A representative of TikTok told The Verge at the time the company was working to hire a nodal chief. in India, which would work "to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies", adding that there were "strong measures [in place] to protect users against misuse".

Still, concerns about possible child abuse on the platform and other concerns Legislators from outside India also share hateful or pornographic content. The application's parent company, ByteDance, was ordered to pay $ 5.7 million at the end of February to settle allegations that it violated the children's privacy law. The application, then called Musical.ly, operated in violation of the Children's Online Protection Policy Act (COPPA) by not asking minors to obtain permission from a parent or guardian to use the application. Those measures are already in place, and children under 13 now operate with "extensive limitations on user content and interactions," according to a statement at the time.

The Verge approached Google, Apple and TikTok for comments.

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