Indian TikToker banned for glorifying acid attacks

The app's rating has fallen from 4.6 to 2 stars on Google Play Store in the last week

May 20, 2020

Social media app TikTok recently came under fire after a prominent influencer Faizal Siddiqui released a video that glorified acid attacks. Calls to ban the app with Twitter trends such as #TikTokExposed and #BanTikTok erupting.

Additionally, the app's rating on Google Play store also dropped to 2 stars from 4.6 last week. TikTok has subsequently removed Siddiqui's account and banned after following the video in question and the subsequent backlash.  The ban was enforced “due to multiple community guidelines violations”. According to TikTok the content had violated several community guidelines, reported Hindustan Times.

“Keeping people on TikTok safe is a top priority and we make it clear in our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines that clearly outlines what is not acceptable on our platform. As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks safety of others, promotes physical harm or glorifies violence against women,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

In the clip, Siddiqui throw's a liquid on the girl's face as revenge for betrayal. The girl is then seen with a grotesque make-up implying that her face has been disfigured due to an acid attack.

Before throwing the liquid onto the girl’s face, he mouths the dialogue: “Tumhe usne chhorr diya jiske liye tumne mujhe chhorra tha (The guy you left me for, has left you)?”

Acid attack victim Laxmi Aggarwal on whom the film Chhapaak is based lashed out at the video,“We are working day and night to stop the acid attacks, violence against women. This cringe activity is not called influencing but promoting crime. Such persons are a curse to our society. So it is important to ban such videos and accounts from the social media," she wrote on social media.

Bollywood figures raised their voice against the video. “What on earth is wrong with people? This is depraved. How can you allow this kind of content on your platform TikTok," filmmaker and actor Pooja Bhatt wrote on Twitter.

Swara Bhaskar critcised TikTok for allowing content of such nature in the first place.  “Hey TikTok why and how are you allowing this kind of content -which is so obviously celebrating and promoting aggression and violence against women, and perpetuating false misogynistic stereotypes -to be published ; viewed freely on your platform??? Shame,” she wrote on Twitter.

Siddiqui who had over 13 million followers on TikTok responded to the controversy on his Instagram. "My intention was never to hurt anyone in any capacity. As a social media influencer, I realize my responsibility and apologize to anyone who was offended by the video," he wrote in a post.

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