TikTok downloads have slowed down in the last two months as concerns around its content, which many have dubbed ‘objectionable’, continue to rise. TikTok crossed two billion downloads earlier this year, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing since.
The ByteDance-owned app’s downloads reportedly fell by 34 percent in April and 28 percent in May. In India, its largest market, the impact has been more intense, with an anti-TikTok (and anti-China) sentiment sweeping across social media.
Sensor Tower indicates that close to 90 percent users in India are feeling negative (indicated in orange) about the app. Globally, TikTok downloads have almost halved between March and May, coinciding with growing negativity around the platform.
On Google Play Store, TikTok ratings fell from 4.7 to 1.2 within a few days. Ratings climbed to 1.6 after Google deleted millions of user reviews. At present, TikTok’s Play Store rating stands at 1.4.
Users are outraging against the platform for promoting objectionable content, including acid attacks, rape, violence against animals, and more. Indian users have also been trending #TikTokBan, #TikTokExposed, and #UninstallTikTok on social media.
Last week, National Commission of Women Chairman Rekha Sharma called on the Indian government to ban TikTok.
“I am of the strong opinion that this @TikTok_IN [sic] should be banned totally and will be writing to GOI. It not only has these objectionable videos but [is] also pushing youngsters towards [an] unproductive life where they are living only for few followers,” Sharma said in a tweet.
TikTok India told YourStory that it has taken measures to curb objectionable content on the platform. It is only removing videos that hurt user sentiments, but has also suspended creator accounts that violate its terms of service and community guidelines.
“As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks safety of others, promotes physical harm or glorifies violence against women. The behaviour in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate,” a TikTok India spokesperson told YourStory.