The past few months have been extremely difficult for the video-sharing platform TikTok. It is basically used by users to create short video clips, and was first released back in 2016 by a Chinese company called Bytedance. Of late, various countries have decided to take action against the platform citing different kinds of ‘security’ and ‘morality’ related concerns.
Following the US government’s decision to ban all transactions on the app, an order to ban the app altogether was passed in September. Bytedance is currently involved in a legal tussle with the United States, and has appealed against the decision.
Furthermore, they are currently in talks with Oracle, in the hope of starting a new company called ‘TikTok Global’. This is supposed to take care of the ‘national security’ concerns that the American government has cited.
Since then, the app has been banned in both India and Pakistan, albeit for different reasons. Regardless, the banning of TikTok in particular, has not resulted in a lot of outcry. This is despite the millions of users who access TikTok on an everyday basis.
Why a part of the Internet seems to hate 'TikTok' as a platform
First and foremost, TikTok has become recognized as a platform which is full of talent-less content creators, who use other creators’ original soundtracks. The platform is full of people who post lip-sync videos, and quite a few of these creators are trolled and made fun of mercilessly.
All over the world, TikTok content creators are not considered to be at the same pedestal as other creators on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Further, various new trends that tend to be seen as extremely problematic, have a tendency to emerge from TikTok.
Recently, we have talked about the Benadryl challenge that involved drinking large quantities of the medicine, along with the Gen Z ‘tattoo challenge’ that was later revealed to be a Nazi symbol. Another concerning trend, where parents were seen throwing their children off camera, also somehow gained traction on the platform.
Regardless of these trends, the assumption that only talent-less content creators use the app, and the fact that various TikTokers are habitually accused of heinous crimes such as animal abuse, are all factors that have given a negative image to the platform.
Finally, the app has been cited to be a threat to national security by the governments of several nations. This has further intensified the public’s negative feelings towards the app, leading to widespread calls to boycott it on social media. While Bytedance cannot be held directly responsible for this, there are certain things that the company can do to salvage the platform’s image.
For starters, an active moderation team which makes sure that such problematic content does not exist on the platform would go a long way in solving the problem. The platform is useful, and most people agree that there are quite a few hilarious content creators who have used it to good effect. However, the existence of such problematic content is a major problem that needs to be solved.
Before that of course, there are legal tussles that Bytedance needs to win to make sure that TikTok does not stay banned in countries like US. While it might be almost impossible to get the ban overturned in Pakistan and India, Bytedance will still be hoping for a miracle as far as the US market is concerned.Published 21 Oct 2020, 00:17 IST