TikTok campaign about violence against women in India gets 890 million views
The short video app from China's ByteDance once faced a ban in India, but the new campaign with UN Women has proven popular
A campaign on viral short video app TikTok to raise awareness about women’s safety issues in India has attracted more than 887.5 million views as of Monday.
The #KaunsiBadiBaatHai campaign is part of a larger initiative by UN Women called “Orange the World: #HearMeToo” to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Kaunsi Badi Baat Hai means “what’s the big deal” in Hindi.
The campaign kicked off November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and will continue until the International Day of Human Rights on December 10, according to a statement by TikTok.
The in-app campaign encourages users to show their support by undertaking the #KaunsiBadiBaatHai “Rap for Change” challenge and sporting shades of orange in their videos. Orange, the signature color of the campaign, symbolizes the elimination of violence against women, TikTok said.
The campaign rap Kaunsi Badi Baat Hai was written and performed by 16-year-old Abbas Ali from Delhi and composed by Aditya Shekhawat. Available for users as a background track for their videos, the song highlights instances of violence against women and questions existing sociocultural norms, the statement added.
“At TikTok our mission is to inspire and enrich people’s lives and give them an outlet to express themselves in a way that adds value to the community,” said Nitin Saluja, director of public policy at TikTok India. “ We are proud to collaborate with UN Women India for this campaign as their community partners and believe that the highly engaged community on TikTok has the potential to contribute towards a change in society and spread the message of a violence-free world.”
Nishtha Satyam, deputy country representative of UN Women India said of the collaboration: “UN Women is committed to making spaces safe for women and young girls, for violence against women and young girls has real consequences and costs.
“Through our proud partnership with TikTok for this campaign, we hope to raise awareness and unite users to break the silence around violence,” she added.
TikTok users uploaded videos demonstrating both positive and negative examples of men interacting with women under the hashtag, with many calling for more respect toward women in their posts.
The top post using the hashtag as of Monday, by user @shifazsiddiqui5, featured a man approaching a woman after accidentally kicking her in order to apologize. The post garnered 3.6 million likes.
Widely regarded as the first Chinese-owned app to achieve international success, TikTok was downloaded close to 176 million times in the third quarter of 2019, making it the second most downloaded app worldwide in that period according to data from mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
In India, the video-sharing app ranked second in Google Play and fifth in Apple Store as of Monday. There have been 277.6 million downloads of the app by users in India – roughly 45% of global downloads – as of November 2019, Sensor Tower data showed.
In July, TikTok said it was in the process of setting up a data center in India to store app data locally after Indian authorities raised concerns over user privacy and content regulation and threatened to ban apps by TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance.
TikTok has also come under fire from US lawmakers and officials over national security and privacy concerns recently. The US Army announced last month that it was undertaking a security assessment of the app due to national security concerns over the app’s handling of user data, soon after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) launched a national security review of ByteDance’s US$1 billion acquisition of US social media app Musical.ly, which was later absorbed into TikTok.
Beijing-based ByteDance has repeatedly emphasized TikTok’s independence from China, saying that it stores US data locally with backup redundancy in Singapore.