TikTok, the short video app from Chinese company ByteDance, once faced a ban in India. Now, a new campaign on TikTok initiated by UN Women has gone viral. A campaign on short clip app TikTok to raise awareness about women’s safety issues in India has pulled more than 887 million views. The #KaunsiBadiBaatHai campaign is a part of a larger initiative by UN Women called “Orange the World.” The initiative marks 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. “Kaunsi Badi Baat Hai” translates to “What’s the big deal.”
The campaign began on November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and continued until the International Day of Human Rights, which is on December 10. The in-app campaign encourages all users to show their support by undertaking the #KaunsiBadiBaatHai “Rap for Change” challenge. Users can also show their support by sporting shades of orange in their videos. Orange is the signature colour of the campaign, and it symbolizes the elimination of violence against women.
Kaunsi Badi Baat Hai
The campaign’s signature rap “Kaunsi Badi Baat Hai” was written and performed by 16-year-old Abbas Ali and produced by Aditya Shekhawat. The track is available as a background track for user’s videos. The song poses questions against existing socio-cultural norms and highlights instances of violence against women. Nitin Saluja, the director of public policy at TikTok India, says that it’s TikTok’s mission to inspire and enrich people’s lives and give them an outlet to express themselves.
The deputy country representative of UN Women, Nishtha Satyam, stated that UN Women is committed to making India safer for women and young girls, and that violence against women has real consequences and costs. Through UN Women’s partnership with TikTok, the initiative hopes to raise awareness and unite people to break the silence around violence. TikTok users uploaded videos demonstrating both negative and positive instances of men interacting with women under the hashtag. Many users called for more respect for women in their posts.
The top post using the hashtag by user @shifazsiddiqui5 featured a man apologizing to a woman after accidentally kicking her while getting off a bike. The post garnered 3.6 million likes. TikTok is widely regarded as the first Chinese social media app to achieve international success. The app has been downloaded over 176 million times in the third quarter of 2019 alone, making it the second most downloaded app worldwide.
In India, the video-sharing app ranks second on the Google Play Store charts and fifth on the Apple App Store. India makes up for roughly 45% of the total downloads – the app has been downloaded 277.6 million times as of November 2019. In July 2019, TikTok said that the company was in the process of setting up a data centre in India to comply with the demands of Indian authorities after they raised concerns over user privacy and content regulation.