More than 104 million videos were removed from TikTok in the first six months of this year. According to ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of the social media app, the videos violated the platform’s rules.
According to TikTok, more than 96 percent of videos were proactively removed before a user reported them, and 90 percent were never viewed. ByteDance started checking videos for false information this year, for example about the coronavirus, climate change and elections.
It is not clear whether all videos have been removed for violating these rules. For example, the platform also removes videos that show violence or sex.
Most videos were removed in India (37.7 million videos), followed by the US (nearly 10 million videos) and Pakistan (6.5 million videos). TikTok emphasizes that it is less than 1 percent of the total number of videos.
ByteDance is releasing the ‘transparency report’ at a time when the app’s future in the US is under intense negotiation. According to the US government, the apps pose a threat to US user data. The country fears that the data will fall into the hands of the Chinese government. According to TikTok, this fear is unjustified.
On Friday, Apple and Google were ordered to remove TikTok and chat service WeChat from their American download stores as of Monday. That was postponed to Sunday last weekend, after Trump gave the green light for a deal between TikTok and the American companies Oracle and Walmart. China only has to agree to this.
The app, in which users share dances and other acts in short videos, has become increasingly popular in recent times. The app has more than 100 million users in both the US and Europe. TikTok is the first Chinese-made social media app with great success in the West.