The Indian government has red-flagged the usage of 59 China-linked apps, including TikTok, as being a threat to national security and privacy of people. Out of all the banned apps, the TikTok app, which had more than 10 crore monthly active users in India, was turning out to become the biggest threat, especially amongst teenagers.
Apart from being extensively used to objectify women and glorify attacks on them, promoting rape, animal cruelty, domestic violence etc., the Chinese app has been linked to several deaths, as users had been using the app to post videos of suicide and even murders.
Several murders and suicides in the recent past have been associated with the Chinese social media app. The glorification of pervasive issues and the app’s toxicity has compelled the government to issue a blanket ban on the Chinese app.
TikTok user turns murderer
Recently it was reported how a woman was brutally stabbed to her death by her ‘stalker’ on Wednesday evening (17 June). The stalker, a 21-year-old youth named, Sherkhan Choudhary, was an influential social media user with over 4 lakh followers on TikTok. It was reported that the woman, Naina Kaur, who was around 20, was returning home with her parents when three men, Sherkhan, Asif and Aamir Chaudhary arrived on a bike.
One of them, who was wearing a mask, pulled Naina’s hands and beat her up, and also slapped her mother so she fell unconscious. Sherkhan then stabbed Naina with a knife several times on her neck and abdomen. Shekhan Choudhary, with over 4 lakh followers on TikTok, was seen glorifying violence and ‘badmaashi’ in many video of his.
Advocating rape and acid attacks
A First Information Report (FIR) was filed with the Uttar Pradesh police by Advocate Abhishek Rajpoot against a controversial TikTok video creator named Faizal Siddiqui for promoting acid attack as a means to avenge lost love by jilted lovers. Faisal had 13.4 million followers on the Chinese video-sharing app.
TikTok user Mujibur Rehman was seen promoting rape in another viral video. The boy, along with his friends, attempts to button up his shirt and zip his pants to suggest that they have raped the girl in the contentious video.
In another video posted on the Chinese app in May this year, a user named Tanjeem Khan displayed pervasive behaviour and objectified a woman by enacting suggestively to the tune of a song that says, “Only I have a right over your body.” The video also depicts a girl crying and adjusting her dishevelled clothes, symbolising an act of rape.
Violence and hatred against Hindus
A TikTok user, Saifi Khan, had uploaded a video wherein young children can be seen parroting the lines of a song that advocates genocide against non-Muslims. The song in the background goes as, “The area was shaking with the chants of “Naara-e-Takbeer.” Within a short time, the playground was full of the dead bodies of Kaffirs (infidels)”.
In another anti-Hindu video, a Muslim man, wearing a skull cap, is seen wielding a sword at a Hindu priest. In an act of bigotry and sheer hatred, the Muslim man then enacts attacking the priest with the sword, ‘cutting’ his neck and leaving him bleeding.
TikTok used to advocate anti-national sentiments
In order to get quick fame, delinquent teenagers go overboard and make offensive and violent videos on the Chinese social media app, TikTok. In one such incident, four youths in Bazarkhala area of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh allegedly burnt the Indian national flag and raised anti-national slogans on June 22 to make a TikTok video go viral.
An FIR, under stringent IPC sections 124 (A), 153 (A), 504, 505 (1) (B) (2), 352, 325, 506 and Rashtriya Gaurav Insult Prevention Act 2, has been registered in Bazarkhala police station, against the accused. During interrogation, the minor admitted of burning the India flag and raising anti-national slogans. He said that they were doing so to make the video go viral on the popular Chinese social media app.
Death while shooting killer stunts on TikTok
In January, a teen named Karim Sheikh suffocated to death while shooting a video. The 17-year-old boy from the Pirganj area of Kolkata’s Malda district passed away while attempting to record a music video that involved risky stunts. Karim was tied to an electric pole with a plastic bag covering his face, where a video of him trying to escape from the same was being recorded by his friends.
When he started having trouble breathing, his friends apparently concluded that he was performing for the video and continued shooting the incident. When the teenager failed to respond after a couple of minutes, the other boys realized what had happened and rushed to rescue him. But Karim had already died of asphyxiation.
In another incident, a youth named Ammar Haider was killed in Sialkot in the city of Punjab in Pakistan while making a TikTok video. Reportedly two friends Ammar Haider and Zohaib were making a TikTok video when Ammar fired a loaded pistol at his stomach, which caused his death.
Moreover, last year, a 16-year-old boy named Mohammad Noor Ansari was run over by a train while recording a video for TikTok by standing on railways tracks at Kating near Purulia station, West Bengal.
His friend had informed that Mohammad Noor Ansari, a school dropout was crazy about making funny videos and uploading the same on TikTok and other social networking sites. He had made several videos on tracks earlier but this one turned fatel.
Users post suicide videos on TikTok
Last year, in a shocking incident, a woman committed suicide by consuming toxin after her husband scolded her for spending too much time on Tik Tok app. The woman named Anitha killed herself at her residence in Perambalur, Tamil Nadu and video recorded the whole act. She also recorded a statement before committing suicide asking her husband to take care of their kids.
In fact, according to Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint, the Delhi riot shooter Shahrukh was also a TikTok buff. ThePrint spoke about how Shahrukh aspired to be on the cover page of a fashion magazine before becoming the face of Delhi anti-Hindu riots.