Short video-sharing app TikTok came into the spotlight in India in the spring of this year. The app was accused of facilitating the distribution of pornography.
The app was banned for a while but was restored after it introduced a minimum age of at least 13 for new accounts. It also implemented automatic censorship tools that detected and blocked nudity.
Now the app has reappeared in the spotlight. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Indian ruling party Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has again called for video sharing site TikTok to be banned in India. In a letter to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, the SJM said:
To prevent such applications from operating in India, we would humbly request the creation of a new law that requires testing and also regulation to protect our national security as well as the privacy of Indian users from countries with
inimical interests to India. Until such a law is notified, all such Chinese applications, including TikTok and Helo should be banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In recent weeks, TikTok has become a hub for anti-national content that is being shared extensively on the application. We have been notified of videos advocating views that promote religious violence, anti-Harijan sentiments, and mistreatment
of women. There have also been various instances of deaths being caused due to TikTok across India.
The essence seems to be that if people are going to communicate with anti state ideas then they could at least use an Indian app rather than a Chinese one.
Pakistan has officially objected to a news article appearing on the BBC news website. Pakistan claimed that the report, Uncovering Pakistan's secret human rights abuses, was defamatory, called for the article to be taken down, and also
demand an apology from the BBC. The news report is available in English and Urdu.
The official letter has been written by the Director General External Publicity Samina Waqar to the Ofcom, UK, and the BBC, against the report. The letter claimed the story not only presented a fabricated theme, but also violated journalistic
ethos. The letter goes on:
The story also violates BBC's editorial policy by not incorporating the point of view of all stakeholders/citing credible sources/quoting authentic evidence etc,, adding that it amounted to indicting the state of Pakistan for so-called 'secret
human rights abuses' without any cogent evidence.
We demand that the BBC remove this defamatory and malicious story and issue a clear-cut apology. We also expect the BBC to ensure that in the future such fake stories specifically targeting Pakistan will not be disseminated.
The complaint explains that the Pakistan government expects the BBC to abide by its editorial policy and journalists' ethos in the future, asking that Ofcom look into the content of the mala-fide, incorrect and misleading story and take measures
as per the BBC's editorial guidelines 1.2.11 -- (Accountability: We will be open in acknowledging mistakes when they are made and encourage a culture of willingness to learn from them.)
Pakistan has warned that the government has the right to pursue all legal options in Pakistan or the UK if BBC authorities fail to retract the libellous and defamatory story and take action against its writer, with the letter saying the content
of this story reflects bias, spin and the angling of facts, and that there are judgemental expressions that are a clear violation of journalistic norms of impartiality and objectivity.