TikTok publishes first Transparency Report: US and India tops the content removal requests. No Takedown Request from China

TikTok recently released its first transparency report, which suggested data related to the content takedown request by the countries in the year 2019.

To a shock, China was absent from the list; whereas, the US and India topped the ranks. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant. The video-sharing app faced a lot of scrutiny in its initial years over its relationship with China.

It was expected that the app is censoring all the content related to the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong to somehow appease the Chinese government. These assumptions led US lawmakers to go after TikTok for national security reasons.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) contacted ByteDance for these reasons, which could have caused severe damage to the app. There were many other aspects that led the CFIUS to go after TikTok. The concerns went to such a great extent that it was expected that TikTok might be forced to sell the app. Recently, the US army was banned from posting any videos on the app.

The transparency report shows that the US law and enforcement agencies kept bugging TikTok for user data and content takedown requests. About 79 user data requests and six content takedown requests were sent by the US law enforcement anchorites to the TikTok, out of which, 86% of requests were fulfilled.

Both India and the US topped the list and the absence of China is justified as the app does not operate over there. The Chinese version of the application is known as ‘Douyin’ there.

There have been a lot of restrictions by the US government to chat on the topic of Hong Kong protests. China is widely known for restrict policies for internet freedom, so the report came out as a shock.

Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

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