The government on June 29 had banned as many as 59 Chinese applications including TikTok. Several popular applications including Shareit, Helo, Likee, WeChat, UC Browser, Shein had been mentioned among the list of banned Chinese apps.
The decision of banning Chinese apps was taken in the wake of India-China border standoff. The government banned apps in order to protect the sovereignty of Indian Cyberspace and to ensure the interests of crores of Indian mobile users.
However, this significant decision did not go well down with many MNC companies including Facebook. The decision has given a signal to all foreign companies to comply with India’s national security guidelines or else they will face Indian wrath.
Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has expressed concern over the TikTok ban in India. The social media giant, Facebook has reportedly termed the Indian government’s move of banning TikTok in India as worrisome.
According to a report by India Today, Zuckerberg is worried about the security and privacy of Facebook and fears that if anything does not meet the standard in the context of India’s national security, then the Indian government can impose a ban on Facebook too, just like it did on Tik Tok–by banning it overnight.
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 step to block as many as 59 Chinese apps in India came as a shock to Mark Zuckerberg. He had said that if India can ban TikTok with over 200 million users in India without citing concrete reasons, it can also ban Facebook if something goes against India’s national security and privacy.
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 has never faced any kind of issue in India but considering the debacle with the other governments, it is natural to worry about its future in India if any national security issue arises.
However, Facebook never compromises with its guidelines. It removes an account or page from its website with immediate effect If it finds any irrelevant content which breaches company policy. Facebook has maintained its policy in India for many years. Facebook has not done anything which has violated India’s national security.
India is a big market for Facebook with over 260 million daily active users, and Zuckerberg will never want to mess with the Indian government. The decision of banning TikTok would have got the entire company on its toes to correct any loopholes. So far, there has been no conflict between the Indian government and Zuckerberg due to national security issues.