Facing immense pressure from the LGBTQ civil rights advocacy groups, Google has removed a controversial app that advocated for gay conversion therapy.
The app was earlier removed by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft but it remained on Google’s Play Store.
The app called “Conversation therapy” came from a non-profit organisation Living Hope Ministries which “proclaims a Christ-centred, Biblical world-view of sexual expression rooted in one man and one woman in a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for life because anything less than this ideal falls short of God’s best for humanity”.
In a statement to Axios late Friday, Google said that after consulting with outside advocacy groups and reviewing its policies, it decided to remove the app from the Play Store.
More than 140,000 people had signed a Change.org petition calling on Google to ban the app.
Google and Apple have blocked the download of TikTok from Play Store and App Store respectively in India, following a request from the government to ban access to the Chinese short video-sharing app that has been downloaded over 230 million times in the country.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the original Madras HC court order on April 3.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to lift the ban on TikTok and set April 24 the next hearing date.
A Google spokesperson told IANS: “As a policy, we don’t comment on individual apps but adhere to the law in countries we operate in.”
TikTok said in a statement that the company has faith in the Indian judicial system.
“We are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives,” a TikTok spokesperson said.
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere, for now, with the Madras High Court’s order banning Chinese video app TikTok, and directed further hearing in the matter on April 22.
Expressing concern over the “pornographic and inappropriate” contents of the TikTok, the High Court had, on April 3, directed the Centre to ban the app.
The ban order came after the court noted that children were being exposed to pornographic and inappropriate material.
With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos and these may have inappropriate content.
The rise of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now nearly impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content.
These user-created videos that often contain memes, lip-syncing songs and sometimes sleazy posts regularly find ways to other popular social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp and ShareChat. These are the platforms where most adult social media users are now getting introduced to TikTok. (IANS)