TikTok downloaded more than 49 million videos from users worldwide in the second half of 2019, according to the Transparency Report released this morning.
Videos accounted for less than 1% of all videos uploaded to TikTok during this time period. TikTok reports that they came down from its platform for violating the instructions of its community application or the terms of service. In December, the company said a quarter of its content was about "naked and adult sexual activity." A percentage of videos have been removed for "depicting harmful, dangerous or illegal behavior of minors", such as drug use. Harassment and hate speech are a small number, accounting for only 3% and 1% of all videos, respectively.
More than 16 million downloaded videos came from users on India. The second largest community was the United States, with 4,6 million videos.
These are huge numbers compared to YouTube. YouTube reportedly removed about 14,7 million videos during the same period in 2019. The United States and India were also the top YouTube communities on the issue.
TikTok video deletions generally do not result from government requests or copyright complaints. TikTok reports that it has received only 1.300 cancellation requests for copyright use and 45 requests for cancellation from the government (mainly from India) and has not complied with all of these requests. As in the first half of 2019, the report shows that TikTok did not receive removal requests or information requests for users from China, where its parent company is based, Bytedance.
"We have never removed content at the request of the Chinese government, and we would not have done so if we had been asked to do so," a TikTok spokesman said. The spokesman also said that TikTok "never provided data users in the Chinese government and does not intend to take such action. "
The details come from TikTok's second transparency report, which covers the dates from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019. The company published its first transparency report for the first half of 2019 at the end of December.
TikTok is heavily controlled by US politicians. worried about the huge popularity of an application owned by a Chinese company. Earlier this week, the foreign minister Mike Pompeo even mentioned the idea of banning TikTok, as there are concerns that it could channel users' personal information to the Chinese government. TikTok has categorically denied that such a thing has happened or is about to happen.
Transparency reports are intended in part to help build confidence in implementation. This report is the first to be extended to TikTok's supervisory policies, and the company states that it will provide more detailed information in the future. Late last year, Bytedance launched a "new content monitoring infrastructure" that outlined specific reasons for removing a video, such as those announced in December.
TikTok's transparency report seems to suggest that the platform is primarily concerned with other issues - or, at the very least, that issues such as nudity are the biggest issue it identifies - and that it generally prevents problems with videos. The company says it automatically detected more than 98% of downloaded videos without being reported by users. Almost 90% of these video received no screenings at all.