Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India

Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India

ByteDance’s TikTok app, which has gained a whole lot of tens of millions of customers in India with its short-form movies, is going through criticism in its greatest abroad market after disturbing movies surfaced on the platform.

Phrases reminiscent of BanTikTok, DeleteTikTok, and BlockTikTok have trended on Twitter in India up to now three weeks after quite a few customers expressed disgust over some movies that had been circulating on Chinese big ByteDance’s jewel app.

Users unearthed and shared quite a few latest TikTok movies on Twitter that appeared to advertise home violence, animal cruelty, racism, youngster abuse and objectification of ladies.

The backlash has resulted in tens of millions of Indians giving the app a one-star ranking on its Google Play Store itemizing and posting poor critiques which can be crucial of the app. The app’s total ranking globally has tanked from 4.5 as of earlier this month to as little as 1.2 — till Google intervened.

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A Google spokesperson stated the corporate eliminated tens of millions of destructive TikTok critiques that customers had posted as a corrective motion to curb spam abuse. After this correction, TikTok’s ranking has recovered barely to as excessive as 1.6 — in Europe, it at present sits at 1.4.

At one time, the general “sentiment” of the app that, partially, describes a consumer’s satisfaction with the app primarily based on its critiques, dropped from 86% to 39%, cell perception agency Apptopia instructed TechCrunch.

A display screen seize of TikTok app itemizing on Google Play Store in India

Outrages over an app will not be a brand new phenomenon. In India itself, there have been a handful of circumstances together with an incident when an alleged comment made by Snapchat co-founder upset many Indians, lots of whom mistakenly deleted — and left poor rankings for — Snapdeal e-commerce app.

But the brand new incident, which snowballed after Faizal Siddiqui (a social media influencer) posted a spoof video of an acid assault (for which he has since apologized), has put TikTok’s content material moderation efforts on highlight in India, the place its app reached 200 million customers late final 12 months.

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Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, an Indian politician, claimed that TikTok — in addition to the manager who sees the app’s operation in India — has not listened to the suggestions and refused to take down derogatory movies and maintain individuals who posted these clips accountable regardless of her experiences.

In an announcement, a TikTok spokesperson stated, “conserving folks on TikTok secure is a prime precedence and we make it clear in our Term of Service and Community Guidelines that clearly outlines what will not be acceptable on our platform. As per the coverage, we don’t permit content material that dangers security of others, promotes bodily hurt or glorifies violence towards ladies. The behaviour in query violates our tips and we’ve got taken down content material, suspended the account, and are working with regulation enforcement companies as acceptable.”

But ByteDance didn’t reveal what number of content material moderators it had in India and the way proactively it removes objectionable movies — or if it does. This isn’t the primary time when ByteDance’s efforts have come below scrutiny in India.

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Last 12 months, TikTok grappled with an analogous difficulty when a High Court within the nation ordered Google and Apple to dam the app over porn and different unlawful content material. The ban was lifted weeks later.


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