TikTok Says It Removed 49 Million Videos For Content Violations In The Second Half Of 2019

By 07/09/2020
TikTok Says It Removed 49 Million Videos For Content Violations In The Second Half Of 2019

According to TikTok’s second transparency report, it removed 49,247,689 policy-violating videos in the latter half of 2019.

The videos accounted for “less than 1% of all the videos our users created,” the company said. It added that “tens of thousands of videos are uploaded on TikTok every minute,” but didn’t give a concrete figure.

TikTok’s report claimed its automated moderation systems removed 98.2% of the videos before a user flagged them, and took down 89.4% of the videos before they received any views.

As for which policies these videos are violating, TikTok gave a sample breakdown of the videos it removed just in December. 25.5% of December’s takedowns involved videos that violated policies against nudity and sexual activities, it said. The next most common violation involved TikTok’s safety policies concerning users under the age of 18, which bar “content depicting harmful, dangerous, or illegal behavior by minors, like alcohol or drug use.” 24.8% of videos it removed had infringed on those rules.

TikTok also removed videos for containing illegal activities (21.5%), violating its policies against suicide, self-harm, and dangerous acts (15.6%), containing violent or graphic imagery (8.6%), and involving harassment or bullying (3%). Less than 1% of removed videos had violated TikTok’s policies against hate speech, integrity and authenticity, and dangerous individuals/organizations.

The company additionally broke down what geographic markets violative content is commonly coming from. 16,453,360 of the rule-breaking videos uploaded from July through December originated in India, which this week banned TikTok and 58 other China-based apps amid tensions between the two countries. The U.S. was next, with 4,576,888 removals, followed by Pakistan (3,728,162), the U.K. (2,022,728), and Russia (1,258,853).

Perhaps to shut down suspicion that the Chinese government has influence over content it removes, TikTok also disclosed how many government removal requests it received from July-December, as well as how many accounts were terminated or restricted, and how many pieces of content it removed in accordance with the requests.

Again, India was the highest, with 30 requests, 28 accounts affected, and 19 pieces of content removed. Other countries that submitted requests include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Norway, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the U.S.

“TikTok did not receive any government requests to remove or restrict content from countries/markets other than those on the list above,” the company said.

This report comes as members of the Trump administration have said the federal government is “certainly looking at” banning TikTok, and as its parent company ByteDance withdraws operations from Hong Kong after the region implemented a new national security policy extending the reach of its law enforcement agencies.