Geet: Indian TikTok star faces uncertain future after app ban

Geet: Indian TikTok star faces uncertain future after app ban

Since Monday evening, Geet's inbox has been overflowing with messages from anxious followers from all over India. Geet, who goes by her first name only, says she was taken aback when India banned TikTok and dozens more Chinese-made apps because it said they were a danger to the country. After all, the former lawyer is now one of India's many TikTok stars, teaching "American English", and giving relationship advice and pep talks to more than 10 million followers on her three channels. Every day, for the past year, Geet has uploaded 15 videos to her accounts, each usually 20 seconds long. Shooting on her phone and a professional camera, she records up to 120 videos a day to make sure that her larder is never bare. The rest of the week she is busy scripting and editing her videos. "I was completely taken off guard when the news arrived. I mean, this is my life now. It's my full-time job," she told me. Her followers are distraught. "How can I learn English any more?" one asked. "Who will motivate me now?" another wrote. Fuelled by cheap data and a young population, TikTok has picked up some 200 million users in three years in India. The popular mobile app features snappy, shareable videos, often catering to teens and other young people. Using filters, sounds, music and hashtags, young Indians upload songs, dances, pranks, comedy skits, career tips, challenges, language and yoga lessons. These co-exist with some videos which have featured hate speech, misogyny ...
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