New Delhi: These can be exciting instances for Chinese short video-sharing apps that have invaded cellphone users, in particular within the Tier III and IV towns in India.
But the steep rise inside the popularity of apps like Tik Tok, Likee, Vigo Video, and others has left the authorities as well as citizens baffled for one easy reason: An unabated upward push in explicit, crass and beside the point films.
To their horror, the titillating movies made on these apps have now observed a bigger mobile-primarily based messaging medium to deprave young minds: Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
WhatsApp with over 300 million users in India has ended up the one-stop keep for the circulate of movies showing scantily-clad girls dancing to vulgar tunes, adult jokes and specific “humorous” messages provided by means of homely ladies being created in the slim dingy via-lanes of small towns on such Chinese apps.
Although tech firms claim to have clever algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based totally systems in conjunction with human teams in the area to check objectionable content, it is rapidly spreading.
Both WhatsApp and TikTok went silent over queries despatched to them. Tik Tok directed us to a vintage declaration that “we’re devoted to constantly improving our protection capabilities as a testimony to our ongoing dedication to our users in India”.
According to Pavan Duggal, the country’s pinnacle cyber regulation expert and a senior Supreme Court advise, the only way to prevent the large circulation of vulgar videos on cell applications is to address the difficulty of intermediary legal responsibility.
“Section sixty-seven of the Information Technology Act, 2000 makes the transmission or ebook or inflicting to be published or transmitted in the electronic shape – any information, which is lascivious or which appeals to the prurient interests or the impact of which has a tendency to deprave or corrupt the minds of people who are in all likelihood to look, study or listen the matter contained or embodied in it – as an offense,” informed Duggal.
However, it’s miles most effective a bailable offense and does now not have any deterrent effect.
“The loss of any effective prosecution below Section 67 has allowed the people to consider that they could circulate vulgar videos with impunity. Hence, the duty needs to be put on the service providers that the instant they are notified about one of these offensive or vulgar movies on their structures, they’re duty-bound to do away with the equal,” Duggal instructed IANS.
In Shreya Singhal v/s Union of India case in 2015, Supreme Court struck down section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which supplied provisions for the arrest of people who published allegedly offensive content on the Internet, upholding freedom of expression.
According to Duggal who’s additionally Chairman, International Commission on Cyber Security Law, the regulations imposed through the Supreme Court need to be re-regarded as the provider vendors are misinterpreting the provisions of the said judgment.
The Madras High Court desires a ban on TikTok, saying it spoils the destiny of youths and minds of youngsters.
On its part, TikTok says it has stopped permitting users below thirteen years to login and create an account on the platform.
“With the help of gadget studying algorithms, films may be screened as they are posted, with objectionable content material removed even before a user reviews it, in some instances.
However, the price at such mistaken videos are being generated, the efforts aren’t enough.
“The government should amend the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 to in particular making tech companies accountable for corrupting the minds of younger Indians who get swayed via such explicit motion pictures and can devote crimes,” Duggal emphasized.
Failure to conform with norms must entice severe punishment of five to seven years and excellent of Rs 20 lakh-Rs 30 lakh for the tech agencies so that it will carry in an appropriate deterrent effect, cited the Supreme Court recommend.