A couple of days back, India banned TikTok on the grounds that the app was spreading child pornography, and was harming the country’s culture. What the government probably didn’t see coming was that TikTok would get even more attention after the ban. But that’s exactly what’s happening.
According to Google Trends, searches for ‘download TikTok’ have spiked since the ban came into effect. Check out the graph below.
April 16 is when news first started coming out about the Madras High Court asking for a ban on the app, and on 17th April, we got news that both Google and Apple had removed the app from their respective marketplaces in India.
The spike in the search term ‘download TikTok’ coincides exactly with those dates, which means a lot more people are now interested in downloading TikTok than before. Or maybe, it’s just people who have never used the app before wanting to try it out and see for themselves what the humdrum is all about.
India has a history of banning things, sometimes on ridiculous grounds. PUBG Mobile was earlier banned in Gujarat for being too violent, and because it was distracting students from their studies. However, the TikTok situation is considerably different from that of PUBG Mobile. The app has been repeatedly accused of having pornographic content, child pornography, and graphic content that’s illegal.
When TikTok was banned, a majority of Indians, at least on social media, were happy about the app being banned in the country. Our Twitter poll asking users if they were happy with TikTok being banned saw an overwhelmingly positive response.
Funnily enough, searches for the Kesha song “Tik Tok” also spiked around the same time. Anyway, the point remains that while a majority of people, at least on social media, look like they’re happy about the ban, there’s a huge population that’s interested in downloading the app.