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 rules on the platform.
According to TikTok, more than 96% of videos were removed proactively before a user reported them and 90% were not viewed at all. ByteDance began this year checking videos for false information, for example on the coronavirus, climate change and elections.
It is not clear whether all videos were also deleted for breaking these rules. For example, the platform also removes videos showing violence or sex.
Most videos were removed in India (37.7 million videos), followed by the US (almost 10 million videos) and Pakistan (6.5 million videos). TikTok emphasizes that this represents less than 1% of the total number of videos.
ByteDance releases the ‘transparency report’ at a time when the future of the app 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 itself, this fear is unjustified.
On Friday, Apple and Google were instructed to remove TikTok and chat service WeChat from their American download shops with effect from Monday. This was postponed to Sunday last weekend after Trump gave the green light for a deal between TikTok and the American companies Oracle and Walmart. All that remains is for China to agree to this.
The app, in which users share dances and other acts in short videos, has become increasingly popular recently. 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.