Deleting reviews of such an application which earns almost 4 crore of rupees per day only in India is not a small thing. It basically started by a clash between a famous youtuber and a tiktoker. But firstly, it is important to know that is this step of deleting reviews is violation of freedom of expression? To understand this, we should know about google and tiktok. Google has now become a necessity in our life, almost every information is available on google and for enhancement google developed a pre-installed application in android mobiles named google play store, in the year 2008. Google play store provides access to applications, books, magazines, music, movies, and television programs. In 2016, Bytedance a Beijing based internet technology company launched an application on google play store named tiktok (formally known as musically). Tiktok is basically a digital platform of creating, sharing and discovering short music videos. After the launch of tiktok, the application went popular among younger generation, because it was like a shortcut of getting famous, many boys with ten followers got famous overnight by dancing for fifteen seconds. The craze of tiktok hiked more when celebrities started using this application. Initially it was good because the talented people whom no one knows, they started to show their talent, and started earning fame. But when the company introduced to pay the tiktokers, the level got increased and all the tiktokers started making videos to go viral and earn money. And in this they get diverted and started making vulgar videos and using abusive languages in their videos. And one day a clash happened between an you tuber named Carry Minati and a tiktoker named Amir Siddiqui. But then also it was going well but one day YouTube deleted Carry’s video because of strikes given by Amir’s team. By this the fight took ugly turn, and at the same time another tiktoker Faisal Siddiqui’s tiktok video went viral and in that video the tiktoker promoted acid attack on girls who refused his proposal, but latter the tiktoker apologized for it. And this was the time when Carry’s video was deleted and a tiktoker promoted acid attack.
While every one of these recordings demonstrates a point that Tiktok has no spot in a socialized society. Netizens calling an all-out restriction on Tiktok usually overlook that the application, claimed by the Chinese startup Bytedance is a major publicity train instrument of CCP and China’s odious expansionist strategies. After every one of these recordings appeared, individuals previously infuriated by the Carminati scene were additionally terrified and begun demonstrating their dismay by rating Tiktok low. Notwithstanding, Google didn’t care for it, and now it is clearing out the audits of individuals to give another rent of life to Tiktok. Google is an American organization, which values giving opportunity of articulation to its clients and laborers.
However, the route Google, of late, has been attempting to stifle the opportunity of articulation of Indian clients, it appears to be that the pursuit monster has begun following the strides of China and its Communist Party and is imitating its editing approaches. Facebook and Twitter are now blamed for applauding the Communist Party and offering elbowroom to such conventional opinions. As of late, Twitter had likewise positioned a Chinese resident on its leader board, who is accepted to have close relations with the Communist Party. It confuses anybody and consequently it is hard to fold one’s head over the way that for what reason will Google help a Chinese application that is tainting the brains of the young with such uncaring recordings. Tiktok has been an exceptionally questioned video stage where jihad, psychological oppression, against Hinduism, assault culture, enemies of ladies violations, and hostile to patriotism have been regularly advanced. Google should regard the assessments of the individuals, keeping aside its monetary advantages from Tiktok. In the event that Google considers opportunity of articulation and virtues on its foundation significant, at that point it ought to promptly eliminate Tiktok from the Google Play Store. A year ago, the Madras High Court had requested that the inside boycott TikTok because of the spread of obscene substance on it. The court had demonstrated worry about the application as it affected self-destructive impulses. The court likewise saw that TikTok prompts youngster maltreatment by the sexual stalkers and pedophiles meandering without any penalty on the Chinese stage. TikTok had later guaranteed the Madras High Court that it could never advance such offensive substance ever again. Yet, it would seem that TikTok had told a blatant mistruth as questionable substance isn’t just present on the application however it is prospering and flourishing simultaneously. TikTok’s balance rules are a trick and it does literally nothing to winnow such upsetting conduct on the stage.
By these two-incident people started boycotting tiktok application and began uninstalling it from their smartphones, a trend began to rate tiktok one star on google play store. The appliance started getting hate, and suddenly google deleted over five million reviews of tiktok from google play store and therefore the rating again raised to four and half stars. Here the question comes, does google violated freedom of expression? To seek out the solution, I went through the terms and conditions, policies of google play store and also read article ten which states freedom of expression and speech.
We should know the meaning of freedom of expression, in Article 10 it’s mentioned rights to precise views aloud (for example through public protest and demonstrations) or through: published articles, books or leaflets television or radio broadcasting works of art the web and social media. The law also protects your freedom to receive information from people by, for instance, being a part of an audience or reading a magazine.
Many folks realize Freedom of expression but only a few are conscious of the restrictions of article 10, within the article itself it’s mentioned that public authorities can restrict the rights of freedom of expression to guard the rights and reputation of people and if anyone has expressed his viewpoint that has encouraged racial, social, and non secular hatred. And also, the terms on google play store play namely policies, removal of unavailability of content, multiple accounts, limit on access on devices clearly mentions that nobody should use their multiple account to spread hate and if anyone does that then google may take action against them consistent with their policies and that I also get to understand that google hasn’t deleted all the one-star reviews from google play store, google has only deleted those reviews which are made purposely to spread hate.
So in my opinion, deleting tiktok reviews isn’t an interference with freedom of expression. The hate spread of tiktok due to two incidents can’t be the rationale to demolish such an enormous application and as i feel government also can interfere in between to see the unlawful act done on tiktok (if any). There are people that do good work on tiktok; we can’t simply blame those people. We are the consumers and that we have the proper to use or not use any application under the law, but we can’t simply give one star to any application just to support a person.
Author(s) Name: Aditya Tiwary (The ICFAI University, Dehradun)