TikTok Ban: Mental health implications on content creators

TikTok Ban: Mental health implications on content creators

With the recent ban on the online entertainment app TikTok, contradictory
arguments have opened up surrounding the decision. While most have welcomed the
ban, few have discussed the impact it would leave on several content creator for whom
the platform had become a source of income.
TikTok had received a lot of flak recently when users glorified acts of molestation
and acid attacks through their videos. Even though the ban was imposed to safeguard
the privacy and security of the country, concerns over its content and addiction has been
spoken about for quite some time.
Speaking about the matter Dr Sanjay Garg, Consultant, Mental Health and
Behavioural Science, Fortis Anandapur, said, “There are multiple aspects to the
concerns surrounding TikTok. Saying that TikTok had become addictive perhaps would
not be completely accurate considering that we are dealing with a much larger picture of
internet addiction as a whole. The specific content that is consumed or the platform that
is primarily used of course depends on individual choices.”
TikTok, as a platform, made it simpler for people to present their content to a
larger audience, without much technical knowhow. Therefore, it attracted a huge
numbers of people, some of who used it as an experimental medium, some for fun, while
others made careers out of it. “Though on multiple occasions TikTok provoked the ire of
many, on the basis of its content, a creative platform, logically, cannot be blamed
entirely for the evils of the world. Any creative content is, at some level, a reflection of
the society itself and the principles and beliefs it internalises, at large. Unfortunately,
even if a platform that allows for the propagation of such ideas are banned, the bitter
truth still remains that such vile notions do exist in our social system”, added Dr Garg
While TikTok may have gained attention for objectionable content, this does not
imply that such content is absolutely absent on other platforms. Nor does it imply that
the platform was only home to unpleasant material. Several creators were using TikTok
for socially relevant causes such as spreading awareness about mental health.
Banning a particular platform for its objectionable content cannot work as an
isolated move. If we are concerned about misogynistic attitudes prevalent in the society,
or about violent attacks against women, then barely banning a few platforms will yield
limited success at best. In today’s age, there is no dearth of alternative mediums of
expression. Thus, success can only be achieved if such moves are an adjunct to other
measures such as gender sensitization training, and fostering a culture of gender
equality and inclusion for all. However, all said and done, we have to keep in mind that
the current ban that has been issued does not impact only TikTok, but several other
apps too and the primary reasons being stated behind this move are those of privacy
and security of the country, which is of course a great cause of concern for many.
Considering the reasons behind this move, many content creators on TikTok have
themselves expressed their support for it.
Speaking about how the ban will affect the mental health of earning content
makers Dr Garg said, “It is natural for creators on TikTok to feel stressed or upset by
this move, and it is expected that they might take a while to adjust to this and bounce
back. Many would agree that talent and skills transcend logistical concerns. Luckily we
live at a time when newer platforms and mediums come up almost every day. Chances
are that attempts will be made to create another platform that would provide its users a
scope to have their talents recognised. It is also possible that having gained some
experience on TikTok, many users might be able to utilise it to create a base for
themselves on other already existing mediums.”

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