High Court (India)

June 02, 2020

TikTok app needs to be regulated: Orissa High Court


[ by Legal Era News Network ]

TikTok-app

The Orissa High Court has said that the popular TikTok mobile app needs to be properly regulated as it often demonstrates a degrading culture and encourages pornography.

“Tik Tok mobile app which often demonstrates a degrading culture and encourage pornography besides paedophiles and explicit disturbing content, is required to be properly regulated so as to save the teens from its negative impact,” observed Justice S.K. Panigrahi.

The observation of the High Court came while disposing of a bail petition involving a suicide case in Sambalpur district. The court said the appropriate government has the social responsibility to put some fair regulatory burden on those companies which are proliferating such applications.

The allegation against the accused was that she along with the co-accused have inflicted direct and indirect mental torture on the deceased who was her husband.

The victim’s husband hailing from Dhanupali area in Samabalpur district ended his life in July 2019 by hanging himself from the ceiling fan of his bedroom. The accused had married the deceased on February 21 last year. However, prior to her marriage, she was alleged to have been in a relationship with the co-accused.

The co-accused had sent some of the intimate and private TikTok videos with the woman to the deceased which were also alleged to have been streamed on social media.

Justice Panigrahi observed, “Of late, Cyber bullying activity like the instant case, has reared its ugly head and swept away so many innocent lives through many of its ugly manifestations. Tik Tok Mobile App which often demonstrates a degrading culture and encourage pornography besides causing pedophiles and explicit disturbing content, is required to be properly regulated so as to save the teens from its negative impact. The appropriate Government has got the social responsibility to put some fair regulatory burden on those companies which are proliferating such applications.” The Court further held that, certain sections of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) in conjunction with other Acts in force punish such offenders. Though sections 66E, 67 and 67A of the IT Act stipulate punishment for violation of privacy, publication and circulation of “obscene” or “lascivious” content under the Act, but are grossly insufficient. The IT Act does impose an obligation upon such companies to take down content and exercise due diligence before uploading any content, but India lacks a specialized law to address the crime like cyber bullying.



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