TikTok Removed Over 3.7 Crore Videos from India in First Half of 2020 for Violating Guidelines, in Latest Transparency Report

TikTok removed over 3.7 crore videos from India for violating its guidelines in the first half of 2020, the company owned by China’s ByteDance claimed in its transparency report published on Tuesday. The report also underlined TikTok’s initiatives to flag and eradicate misinformation on the platform. In late June the government banned TikTok in India along with 58 other apps that had a linkage with China. Apple App Store and Google Play both removed the app in the country and telcos disconnected user access to the platform shortly after the nationwide ban came into effect.

In the transparency report, TikTok said that it had removed a total of 3,76,82,924 videos from India in the first half of 2020. Those videos were a part of the 10,45,43,719 videos removed from the platform globally for violating its community guidelines and terms of service.

“Of those videos, we found and removed 96.46 percent of videos before they were reported to us, and 90.32 percent were removed before they received any views,” the company said in the report.

In addition to the removal of videos, TikTok said that the volume of legal requests also increased on the platform with the growth of user base and content over the first half of the year.

“We received 1,768 requests for user information from 42 countries/ markets. We received 121 requests from government agencies to restrict or remove content from 15 countries/ markets,” the company noted without providing any regional-specific details.

TikTok also evaluated 10,625 copyrighted content take-down notices globally, the report mentioned.

Apart from providing data to highlight its guidelines enforcement, TikTok said that it had introduced its fact-checking programmes in India and several other markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US. The platform launched a misinformation report functionality with a COVID-19 sub-category in India to allow users to flag misleading content. It also added public service announcements (PSAs) through different hashtags.

TikTok also partnered with UNICEF India, UNESCO, UN Women, UNDP India, Central Square Foundation, and Indian Psychiatric Society in the country, the report said.

The release of the transparency report comes at a time when TikTok is no longer available for access in the Indian market and is also facing a hard time in the US. Last week, US President Donald Trump even blocked downloads of TikTok and WeChat apps in the country due to data privacy issues.

Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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