NEW DELHI: The government has issued notices to social media platforms Tik-Tok and Helo, threatening to ban these apps if it does not receive appropriate responses to a set of 21 questions, official sources said.
The action from Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) follows complaint by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) to the Prime Minister, in which it alleged that the platforms are being used for anti-national activities.
When contacted, Tik-Tok and Helo in a joint statement said they have plans to invest USD 1 billion over the period of next three years to develop technology infrastructure and build local ties.
The MEITY ministry has sought reply from Tik-Tok and Helo on the allegation that these platforms have become “a hub of anti-national activities”, and has sought assurance that the data of Indian users are not being transferred at present and will not be transferred in future also “to any other foreign government or any third party or private entity”, according to sources.
Meity has also sought a response on the initiative being taken to check fake news and steps being taken to be compliant under Indian laws.
The IT ministry has asked explanation from Helo on the allegation that it has paid a huge sum to other media platforms for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on social media sites.
The ministry has also raised concern around the violation of child privacy and entry age of 13 years being set by these platforms to enroll users below the age of 18 years (who are considered minors in India).
Tik-Tok and Helo in the joint statement said that they are grateful for the immense support given by India’s growing digital community.