SJM wants ban on TikTok, Helo

In a letter written to Modi, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan highlighted the organisation's concerns over the two platforms, which he alleged were exposing India's youth to being influenced by "vested interests".

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), affiliated to the RSS, on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a ban on Chinese social media applications 'TikTok' and 'Helo', claiming it had become a hub for "anti-national" content.

In a letter to Modi, SJM co-convener Ashwani Mahajan claimed that these two applications were exposing India's youth to being influenced by "vested interests" at an early stage.

"In recent weeks, TikTok has become a hub for anti-national content that is being shared extensively on the application and which can rupture the fabric of our society. We have been notified of videos advocating views that promote religious violence, anti – Harijan sentiments, and mistreatment of women. There have also been various instances of deaths being caused due to TikTok across India," he said.

ByteDance, the Chinese company that runs both TikTok and Helo, "pays 'influencers' to run campaigns promoting products, issues and ideologies," he claimed

"As a result, they under the cover of a social media platform - run news, views, and opinion platforms. While we have extensive regulation on foreign funding in media, these applications under the garb of social media platforms circumvent our domestic rules that exist to protect national security."

He also alleged that 'Helo' was found paying Rs 7 crore for over 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms.
"Some of these ads were using morphed pictures of senior Indian political leaders. Functionaries of the BJP themselves wrote to the EC during the last general election raising these concerns," he said.

He claimed that some segments of the Chinese establishment have "negative intentions" with regard to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

"The combination of apps such as TikTok and interventions by their government can be used to gain access to the private lives of Indian citizens and create social turmoil," he said demanding a ban on all the Chinese apps, including TikTok and Helo, in the country. 

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