The Rise and Fall (and rise again) of Tiktok.

May 24, 2019
by Agam Chaudhary

Tiktok. A fresh wave of revolution which has taken over everyone from a school going teen to an adult with too much time to kill. You either hate it with a smirkiness of being further `evolved` in your social media game, or you cheer it for giving people the freedom to let out their inner creativity.   But you can`t ignore it for sure! It`s right there in your face, waiting to crawl up on the unsuspecting you, while you are scrolling through your feed in Instagram, or checking your Whatsapp status. And you especially can`t ignore it, given its latest shake-up. If you are still confused about what went on, look no further. We are here with the deets!

The Backstory

Tiktok is one of the leading video-based applications in the world. It allows users to create short music videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. It is one a leading application of its type. As recorded in 2018, Tiktok was operating in over 150 markets, and 75 languages, with a massive following of over 500 million users. Known initially as, the platform was acquired by Bytedance Technologies and revamped under the name of TikTok across the world.

Where Is the Problem?

TikTok has been combating some legal concerns in India for quite a while now. It all started on a fateful day when in a case was filed against Tiktok for hosting questionable content walking the fine lines related to child pornography and exposing young children to sexual predators worldwide. The parents worldwide were outraged and concerned about their children`s security. The court had directed the government to warrant a ban on TikTok in India, necessitating both Google and Apple to ban it from their resp[ective App Stores.  As a response, the owner of TikTok, Bytedance stated that they found a `very minuscule` amount of content on the application which can be termed as obscene or inappropriate. There is also an instance of youth losing his life as he was attempting a TikTok video by using a pistol. By mistake, the pistol fired, and he was killed.

Now What?

Tiktok has by no doubt landed themselves in the murky waters. Even though the app has been finally banned by Google and Apple, the users who already have the app preinstalled on their devices will still be able to create and view content as before. Several TikTok users have had their accounts and videos deleted without prior warning. This is mostly due to the application`s change in terms with regard to children`s privacy law. The app now requires one to input their age while signing in, which creates a defined threshold for the minimum age of participation in a social platform. By doing this, TikTok is urging the users to prove they`re of age to use the app, as per the  FTC settlement agreement which complies with the Children`s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. As an attempt to keep the existing users still in the application, TikTok is now directing the users under 13 to a younger and safer ecosystem within the app, which limits some of the features of the app, while still enabling them to watch videos which are appropriate and curated just for younger audiences.


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