ByteDance owned TikTok has been in scrutiny for putting user privacy in jeopardy from multiple governments, which led to the company losing its biggest market by numbers-India, and almost losing the current biggest market-U.S.
With its latest attempt at making a reskinned comeback in the U.S market, the video platform today published its latest transparency report. In the report published on the company’s website, TikTok has revealed that it has removed over 104 million videos from its streaming app in the first half of this year for violating policies and community guidelines. The report also reveals that the company has received over 10,600 copyright claims and almost 1800 legal notices against videos violating copyright infringement laws, all in the first half of the financial year.
The gargantuan numbers exposed by the transparency report might give us an idea about the extensive impact of the massively popular app and why exactly the government is clamping down on it in fear of a potential data breach of epic proportions. If allegations against the Chinese government regarding its use of apps like TikTok to harvest user data is true, then the extent of damage induced by a platform crunching out such high numbers on a daily basis could be catastrophic.
Also, besides the reports of illicit content on the app and the platform’s distinctive steps in curbing out such malcontent on its site, TikTok has announced a new initiative in a potential partnership with other social media apps against harmful content on the interwebs. This also coincides perfectly with the hearing scheduled today by a UK parliamentary committee, regarding the presence of harmful content on TikTok.
According to the latest report, the 104,543,719 videos that TikTok removed from its site, makes up for less than 1% of all videos uploaded onto the site, giving an idea about the vast reach of the app. TikTok has also claimed that 96.4% of the videos it had removed were before it got reported by a user, and 90.3% were removed even before the video had received a single view. Even though the report doesn’t specify whether the vetting had been done by AI or a human moderator, but the sheer vastness of the numbers and quick response time might suggest that the platform has made its move into AI moderation techniques in certain areas of operation.
The report released by TikTok states that the biggest market for removed videos has come from the two countries that share the most tumultuous history with the platform, with India topping the charts with 37,682,924 removed videos and the United States of America coming in second with 9,822,996 deleted video content.
Through the report, the company also stated that the three largest criteria for the removal of videos include adult nudity and sexual activities, minor safety, and illegal activities, with around 3.3% of videos removed in the United States of America being on the grounds of spreading hate speech.
There have been largescale concerns regarding the spreading of misinformation across the video platform, with TikTok itself adopting procedures in curbing the spread of both misinformation and disinformation amongst its user base, but clamping down on such gargantuan numbers is hard and will take significant vetting.
The transparency report as stated earlier comes on the same day as the announcement of the harmful content coalition made by TikTok and the harmful content hearing scheduled by a UK parliamentary committee.The ‘interrogation’ was mostly a discussion regarding the government gaining awareness of the app and its British users.
TikTok, during the hearing, stated that the harmful content coalition is built on a proposal made by the acting head of TikTok in the US, Vanessa Papas, and sent out to 9 executives at various social media platforms. However, the company did not declare the names of the companies or their response.
However, this probable coalition could potentially help bring order to the wide disarray of harmful content spewed across the social media sphere and may help bring about a healthy change to the garbage that clogs the internet.