TikTok vanishes from Google Play Store after Madras HC ban, govt order

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Also, in the absence of the app from legitimate and trusted sources, users may turn to web based third-party stores, which can be more unsafe as they do not verify apps for hidden malicious content as Google and Apple do. The matter has been taken to The Supreme Court who refused to stay the order and that proceed with the hearings on 22nd April.

The order passed by the High Court is based on various unsubstantiated and factually incorrect or gross exaggerations made by the PIL litigant, the petitioner company states. The app was not available in Apple's app store on Wednesday, the report added.

On April 3, The Madras high court had asked the Centre to ban TikTok across the country, saying it encouraged obscenity and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators.

"We welcome the decision of the Madras High Court to appoint Arvind Datar as Amicus Curae (independent counsel) to the court", the statement from TikTok reads.

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Jokes, clips and footage related to India's thriving movie industry dominate the TikTok platform, along with memes and videos in which youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-sync and dance to popular music. And, the three-person Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear the case on April 22 after observing the proceedings tomorrow.

Google said it does not comment on individual apps but adheres to local laws, reported Reuters. "At Tik-Tok, we have faith in the Indian Judicial system and the stipulations afforded to social media platforms by the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011", Tiktok said in an emailed statement. The app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, allows users to create short videos and then share them.

It had asked the government if it would enact a statute on the line of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in the USA and posted the matter for further hearing on April 16.

TikTok also argues that its platform is merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act and can not be held liable for the actions of third party users on the platform. Even if the app is banned, people can still download them from other sources or by changing their location. TikTok had been downloaded more than 240 million times in India.

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