Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has expressed concern over the TikTok ban in India. The social media honcho had told its employees that he found the Indian government’s move of banning TikTok in India “worrisome”.
TikTok was amongst the 59 Chinese apps that were banned in India but why it hogs the maximum limelight because TikTok had the second-largest user base in India with over 200 million users.
As per The Verge writer Casey Newton, Zuckerberg was worried about TikTok’s India ban. Although it soon cashed into the opportunity and released a TikTok clone “Reels”, the government’s reason behind banning the app in India wasn’t received well by Mark Zuckerberg. He had said that if India can ban a platform with over 200 million users in India without citing concrete reasons, it can also ban Facebook if something goes amiss in the security and privacy front.
Why Mark finds it particularly worrisome because Facebook is already involved in a lot tussle with the governments across the world involving national security concerns.
“Facebook already faces fights around the world from governments on both the left and the right related to issues that fit under the broad umbrella of national security: election interference, influence campaigns, hate speech, and even just plain-old democratic speech. Zuckerberg knows that the leap from banning TikTok on national security grounds to banning Facebook on national security grounds is more of a short hop,” the report by Casey read.
Facebook till now has not faced any kind of issue in India but considering the debacle with the other governments, it is not entirely wrong to worry about its future in India if any national security issue arises. Back in 2016, Facebook’s Free Basics service, which means a free but restricted internet service, was banned in India by the telecom regulators.
The TRAI had said that the Free Basic services were banned in India because it violated the principles of net neutrality. With Free Basics services, Facebook had planned to bring more unconnected users online. But since 2016, there has been no major tussle between the Indian government and Zuckerberg due to national security issues.
Coming back to TikTok, the app with over 200 million users in India was banned by the Indian government. The government had alleged that the apps were engaged in activities that were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.”