TikTok Publishes Its Second Transparency Report and Claims It Removed Over 49 Million Clips During Last Six Months Of 2019

On Thursday, TikTok published its second transparency report and claimed that the company has removed more than 49 million videos from its platform around the world. According to the report, 49,247,689 videos were removed by the company during the last six months of 2019. Over 98 percent of those videos were removed even before they were reported by users, and these removed videos represented less than 1% of all videos uploaded to the app during the second half of last year.

The latest report covers from July 1 of 2019 through Dec 31 of last year. The company explained that these removed videos violated the company’s community guidelines or terms of service. According to the company, 25.5% of the removed videos in December violated TikTok’s rule on adult nudity & sexual activities. While another 24.8% of those videos violated rules around the safety of children.

Surprisingly, only a small number of takedowns were due to hate speech (1%) and harassment (3%). The company also revealed that over 16 million of the removed videos were uploaded by Indian users, while the US was the second biggest market for removed videos where the company pulled 4.6 million videos.

TikTok reported that the company only received nearly 1,300 copyright removal requests, and only 45 takedown requests were from governments, mostly from India. The company did not comply with those content removal requests. You may also note that Bytedance-owned TikTok did not receive any content removal requests or user information requests from China.

A TikTok spokesman stated that the company does not remove any video at the request of the Chinese government, and does not provide user information to the Chinese government. The platform has been under great scrutiny from US politicians who are concerned about the increasing popularity of a platform owned a Bytedance, a China-based company.

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, also floated the idea of banning the app in the US over concerns that TikTok could provide users’ private data to the Chinese government. The transparency reports published by the company are in part meant to help build trust in the platform. TikTok also plans to offer more detailed data in the future. TikTok also switched to new content moderation infrastructure in 2019 that catalogs particular reasons for video removals.

Read next: TikTok Rolls Out Its Self-serve Advertising Platform Globally, and the Company Will Provide $100 Million in Ad Credits
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