The Madras High Court has warned the TikTok management that if it violates its undertakings to filter negative and inappropriate or obscene materials, it can amount to contempt of court. The division bench comprising of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice SS Sundar vacated the order after considering the affidavit filed by TikTok highlighting the safety features deployed by them. The measures adopted by them have been reproduced in the order. It was submitted that there are automated tools that are industry standard that can detect pornography content that might be posted and immediately remove the same.
Referring to these statements, the bench said that after the order passed by it on 3rd April, the Company is said to have erased six million videos, the contents of which are doubtful. The bench observed: "Though it is admitted that this possible mischief and irreparable damage that may be caused to innocent children and women cannot be ruled out, taking note of the safety features projected by the 9th respondent and the statutory protection and remedies available under the Statute, the interim order granted by this Court on 03.04.2019 is vacated".
Though the Bytedance raised the issue of fundamental right of speech and expression, the court opined that the rights of intermediary, the creator of a platform for users for commercial purpose may not take shelter under Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution of India.
TikTok Ban Saga It was on 3rd April, the Madurai bench passed an ex-parte order directing the Government to ban the popular application. It observed that the application is dangerous for children in view of inappropriate contents including language and pornography being posted in the application. Later, Bytedance (India) Technology Pvt. Ltd., which owns the mobile application, filed a special leave petition against the Madurai bench order directing the Government to ban the application. Refusing to stay the order, the Apex Court bench had directed the Madras High Court to consider the objections against the ex-parte order. In the hearing conducted pursuant to Apex Court order, the High Court refused to lift the ban.
The bench has posted the matter to second week of June.