At 16.5 million, TikTok removed most number of videos from India: Report

Topics TikTok | Modi government | ByteDance

The US had the second most videos removed with around 4.6 million
India made the highest number of requests to TikTok for content removal and user information between July and December last year, according to the Chinese short-video apps’ latest transparency report.

TikTok owned by Beijing-based tech firm ByteDance is among the 59 Chinese apps along with Alibaba's UC Browser and Tencent's WeChat which were recently banned by the government citing security concerns. This move came after Indo-Sino tensions escalated.

TikTok removed over 49 million videos for content violations in just six months. This is less than 1 per cent of all the videos its users created.

India had about 16.5 million videos removed. The US had the second most videos removed with around 4.6 million. Pakistan ranked third (3.7 million), followed by the UK (2 million) and Russia (about 1.3 million).

However, the report did not feature China or Hong Kong among the list of the countries seeking any user information or content removal.

During the second half of 2019, TikTok got 500 requests from law enforcement agencies and governments in 26 countries.

India, which is TikTok’s biggest market in terms of users, made a total of 302 requests and the firm complied in 90 per cent of those cases. The U.S made 100 such requests and the company complied in 82 per cent of those cases. Other countries such as  Japan made 16, Germany made 15, the UK made 10 and Norway made 10.

TikTok received a total of 45 requests from the governments around the world to remove the content. Out of this 30 came from India.

“Around the world, tens of thousands of videos are uploaded on TikTok every minute,” said TikTok in the report. “To enforce our Community Guidelines, we use a combination of technology and content moderation to identify and remove content and accounts that violate our guidelines.”

TikTok said the videos it took down fell under the category of adult nudity and sexual activities. The other videos it removed violated its minor safety policies, which include content depicting harmful, dangerous, or illegal behaviour by minors, like alcohol or drug use. Other reasons included illegal activities, suicide and self-harm.

TikTok said 3 per cent of the content fell under its harassment and bullying policy. The report said less than 1 per cent contained content that violated the platform’s policies on hate speech, integrity and authenticity, and dangerous individuals and organizations.

TikTok said its systems proactively caught and removed 98.2 per cent of those videos before a user reported them. It said of the total videos removed, 89.4 per cent were taken down before they received any views.

India recently banned 59 Chinese mobile apps including TikTok as a security measure after the India-China face-off in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. The government invoked its powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act and relevant provisions under IT Rules 2009 to block these apps, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said.

Initially, few apps voluntarily delisted themselves in accordance with the government’s order but now Google and Apple have blocked access to all other apps too.

TikTok had 200 million subscribers and had overtaken YouTube in India, according to analysts. Chinese firms such as Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance rival the US penetration of Facebook, Amazon and Google in India.

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