Today, in India, we have a massive uproar about uninstalling Chinese apps in India’s fight against China. The app that takes the worst hit is TikTok. People want to uninstall the app because of its Chinese affiliation. The understanding is that by uninstalling this app, we can boycott China and focus on homegrown technology with similar output. And all this is the COVID-19 pandemic that China reported to WHO in December 2019.
In this context, in this article, I discuss 1000 reasons to ban TikTok but only one reason why you should support the platform.
Let’s start with the negatives first.
Yes, TikTok’s got a Chinese dad. It is one of the famous Chinese apps besides Vibrato, WeChat, QQ, Weibo, and AliPay. And China has been in the light for all the wrong reasons that trigger the vast non-Chinese populace to uninstall this app. Because who knows what happens to our data? Maybe the data is used against us? After the CoVID-19 outbreak, things have taken a bad shape for us to uninstall TikTok from our phones.
TikTok is infamous today because of the kind of cringe content it generates. You may not know, but I did a TikTok video questioning the authorities at the helm of the application about their progress with the Edutok campaign. I didn’t see my video make any move because an account with 50 followers has no fuel for the algo-engine, which of course I don’t mind as long as the content educates, entertains, or inspires me. And if that’s not the case, let me know in the comments.
If TikTok is infamously cringe, how does it become one? It is the people, right? Basically, TikTok has no monitoring metrics as long as you don’t explicitly go Anti-Chinese. On TikTok, everyone has the pass to vomit and not clean up after themselves, and there is the percentage of users who otherwise frown at such content engages with the shit and contaminates the entire algorithm. And let me tell you that these creators are a mix of both influencers and nobodies. Which means famous TikTokers are also susceptible to cringe.
Trust me, TikTok has got a lot to do to improve its algorithm. It is majorly responsible for amplifying the cringe. More than the percentage of cringe creators on this platform is the influence of this algorithm that does not understand content it has to promote. So, it rides the wave with the user-community that enjoys such cringe and promotes it to the extent of a million reach and beyond. Not only this, if you report content that depicts violence, racial hate, triggers mental wellbeing, misinforms about COVID-19, they recommend you to block the account.
On my TikTok timeline, when I have come across creators that degrade women, intrude the privacy of people with disability and the non-binary. Given the breadth and volume of this platform, TikTok seems to enjoy controversy like any popular media that do so to attract more sign-ups and therefore, an even improved reach of business ads. The safety & privacy statement is just there but with no strict and consistent control. TikTok has undoubtedly plenty of loopholes that need immediate attention.
1000 Reasons to Ban TikTok
I was talking about 1000 reasons to ban TikTok. So here you are, you can match your concerns to the power of challenges you have faced on TikTok, and you have all the reasons to wage the battle & uninstall the freaking app!
But wait! Hang on! I am yet to discuss why you got to rethink uninstalling TikTok; why you should support TikTok?
No, I am not going to rave about the 100 Cr donation TikTok made to India to fight COVID because after all, TikTok is a corporate and 100 Cr is no big deal. Also, given that TikTok’s Chinese and the virus was reported in Wuhan in December 2020, you believe it is fine and I reserve.
I am not going to talk about the various campaigns such as #SharetheCare, #BlackLivesMatter, #MentalHealthMatters, #HeforShe, #gharBaithoIndia, #WomeninBlue, etc.
I am not going to tell you that the fall in TikTok’s rating on Google is actually because of Google taking off the negative reviews, the same Google that rules your world and helps you become an influencer on Tiktok. I am not asking that if you trust Google, you got to give it to TikTok as well.
Nopes, I am not going to vouch of TikTok’s global reach, it’s digital wellbeing initiative, future plans, the booty that it adds to the pockets of its popular creators. None.
SO WHAT IS THAT? WHAT IS IT THAT MAKE ME THINK TWICE BEFORE UNINSTALLING THIS APP? I am not even sponsored by TikTok to write this article. Also, I have no insecurity if TikTok is actually banned in India because I am hardly there. THEN?
Listen, over and above everything; this is my ultimate reason why TikTok can use your suggestions to improve and not be BANNED. The reason is TikTok, in essence, is math. If you are a coder and expert in data science, you’ll know it. The skeleton of TikTok is the algorithm, which no matter how much we critique, is not a human being and thus unaffected by human biases. The same bias or nepotism as we understand that claimed a wonderful human being and actor from a small-town India.
Until TikTok, where did you know that we have such incredibly talented people in our own country and so many disciplines? No Sharukh Khan, no Salman Khan, no Karan Johars, none of us, nobody ever cared for the talent (cringe or creative) diversity like TikTok.
My dear friends, it is the very platform that we admonish for the cringe is our documentation of the INVISIBLE. How many times in your life did you say that Live and Let Live? Now is the turn to actually live and let the poor, cringe creators live their share of life. They may not be intellectually superior like you, but they do have equal rights and deserves as much as we do because, at the end of the day, every content has its consumer.
1 Reason to Support TikTok
If you cannot create employment, why unemploy someone who is already had enough of the dirt and dust you wash off your hands. Merit needs an opportunity. Let TikTok be for them. You change your user preferences like me. Generosity needs acknowledgement. Let TikTok be, let them know your preferences. The good thing is the government of India has already invalidated the ban TikTok & reported it fake news in circulation. So, let’s get back to business as usual.