For several months now, the Mobile Gamer's Unknown Online Battleground Game (PUBG) has been highlighting its growing popularity as well as the perverse effects on young children, as many of them have become addicted and neglect studies in India. Already, the government of Gujarat has imposed a ban on PUBG Mobile in the school premises and other schools in India have begun to educate parents about the subsequent monitoring and control of screen time on mobiles.
In the midst of the tumult of PUBG Mobile, another addictive smartphone app, Tik Tok, is under scrutiny in India. The government of Tamil Nadu, in southern India, has called for the ban on Tik Tok for spreading vulgarity and destroying traditional culture.
Thamimun Ansari of Nagapattinam, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the ruling party, All India, Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) during a debate in the Legislative Assembly Tamil Nadu (Fort St. George) said that TikTok degraded Indian culture, encouraged the problem of order in the state. As a representative of the people, it is their responsibility to ban such a harmful mobile application, Ansari added.
Several groups of people are calling for the ban on Tik Tik and we will urge the central government to take similar action to prohibit the suicidal challenge of Blue Whale online gambling, Ansari said.
Screenshots of the Nillu Nillu challenge videos published in the Tok Tik app
For the uninitiated, Tik Tok is one of the most installed mobile apps on Google's Apple iOS and Android platforms. It has more than one billion active users worldwide. The main attraction of Tik Tok is that it allows users to stream video bytes containing popular background music, a movie dialogue, a graphical animation and many other features.
But the problem with Tik Tok is that many teenagers have begun to assimilate to music and dance a music worthy of the name. There is no appropriate directive to control acts describing sexual innuendo.
Also, by the end of 2018, the TikTok app contained an absurd Nillu Nillu challenge that involved an individual or group of people jumping in front of a moving vehicle carrying leaves in their hand and wearing a helmet. The participants then dance to the song "Nillu Nillu Nee Ente Neela Kuyile" of Kerala. This apparently led crowds to block the buses just to make this video on Tik Tok and become famous.
It remains to be seen whether Tik Tok would be banned at least in the school premises or whether the government will impose an age limit for these applications.