TikTok says it removed 16 million videos from India in second half of 2019

TikTok says it removed 16 million videos from India in second half of 2019
Credit: Kon karampelas/Unsplash

TikTok released its transparency report for H2 2019 (July to December 2019) detailing government takedown requests and the removal of videos that violated its policies.

The Bytedance-owned company said it removed over 16 million videos in India that violated its community guidelines during the time period. Overall, the company removed more than 49 million videos — 1 percent of total video posts on the platform.

The company didn’t reveal the nature of these videos, but said that it’s AI systems caught 98.2% of them before any users reported them. It also added that 89.4% of these removed videos didn’t receive a single view. 

Top five countries in terms of video removals on TikTok for H2 2019

While these numbers suggest that TikTok’s AI is working to an extent, there’s been numerous cases where problematic videos weren’t taken down. Last month, when millions of Indians were downrating TikTok, a swathe of troubling videos emerged that encouraged misogyny and domestic violence.

India was also leading in terms of the government requests for user information and content removal. Indian Authorities asked TikTok to provide user data for 302 times and content removal for 30 times in H2 2019.

While the platform is banned now in India, it’s not entirely surprising to see a high number of content removal and government requests originating from the country. Prior to its ban, the short video app boasted of over 200 million users in India.

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