TikTok says it removed 104M videos in H1 2020, proposes harmful content coalition with other social apps

TikTok says it removed 104M videos in H1 2020, proposes harmful content coalition with other social apps

As the way forward for ByteDance’s TikTook possession continues to get hammered out between tech leviathans, traders and authorities officers in assembly rooms, the video app as we speak printed its newest transparency report. In all, over 104.5 million movies had been taken down; it had practically 1,800 authorized requests; and obtained 10,600 copyright takedown notices for the primary half of this yr. Alongside that, presumably to offset the excessive numbers of illicit movies, TikTook additionally introduced a brand new initiative — doubtlessly in partnership with different social apps — towards dangerous content material.

The figures within the transparency report underscore a second story line concerning the common app: the federal government could need to shut down TikTook over nationwide safety issues (except ByteDance finds a brand new non-Chinese controlling construction that satisfies lawmakers). But in actuality, similar to different social media apps, TikTook has one other not-insignificant hearth to struggle: it’s grappling with lots of unlawful and dangerous content material printed and shared on its platform, and because it continues to develop in recognition (it now has greater than 700 million customers globally), that drawback may also proceed to develop.

TikTook stated that the 104,543,719 whole movies that TikTook eliminated globally for violating both group pointers or its phrases of service made up lower than 1% of all movies uploaded on TikTook, which provides you some concept of the sheer scale of the service.

TikTook stated that 96.4% of the full quantity had been eliminated earlier than they had been reported, with 90.3% eliminated earlier than they obtained any views. It doesn’t specify if these had been discovered through automated techniques or by human moderators, or a mixture of each, however it sounds prefer it made a swap to algorithm-based moderation not less than in some markets:

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“As a results of the coronavirus pandemic, we relied extra closely on know-how to detect and routinely take away violating content material in markets corresponding to India, Brazil, and Pakistan,” it famous.

The firm notes that the most important class of eliminated movies was round grownup nudity and sexual actions, at 30.9%, with minor security at 22.3% and unlawful actions at 19.6%. Other classes included suicide and self hurt, violent content material, hate speech and harmful people. (And movies might depend in a couple of class, it famous.)

The greatest origination marketplace for eliminated movies is the one during which TikTook has been banned (maybe unsurprisingly): India took the lion’s share of movies at 37,682,924. The US, then again, accounted for 9,822,996 (9.4%) of movies eliminated, making it the second-largest market.

Currently, plainly misinformation and disinformation aren’t the principle ways in which TikTook is getting abused, however they’re nonetheless vital numbers: some 41,820 movies (lower than 0.5% of these eliminated within the US) violated TikTook’s misinformation and disinformation insurance policies, the corporate stated.

Some 321,786 movies (round 3.3% of US content material removals) violated its hate speech insurance policies.

Legal requests, it stated, are on the rise, with 1,768 requests for person data from 42 international locations/markets within the first six months of the yr, with 290 (16.4%) coming from US legislation enforcement companies, together with 126 subpoenas, 90 search warrants and 6 court docket orders. In all, it had 135 requests from authorities companies to limit or take away content material from 15 international locations/markets.

TikTook stated that the dangerous content material coalition relies on a proposal that Vanessa Pappas, the performing head of TikTook within the US, despatched out to 9 executives at different social media platforms. It doesn’t specify which, nor what the response was. We are asking and can replace as we be taught extra.

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Social media coalition proposal

Meanwhile, the letter, printed in full by TikTook and reprinted beneath, underscores a response to present considering round how proactive and profitable social media platforms have been in making an attempt to curtail a few of the abuse of their platforms. It’s not the primary effort of this type — there have been a number of different makes an attempt like this one the place a number of corporations, erstwhile rivals for client engagement, come along with a united entrance to deal with issues like misinformation.

This one particularly is figuring out non-political content material and arising with a “collaborative strategy to early identification and notification amongst trade contributors of extraordinarily violent, graphic content material, together with suicide.” The MOU proposed by Pappas urged that social media platforms talk to maintain one another notified of the content material — a wise transfer, contemplating how a lot will get shared throughout a number of platforms, from different platforms.

The firm’s efforts on the dangerous content material coalition is another instance of how social media corporations are attempting to take their very own initiative and present that they’re making an attempt to be accountable, a key method of lobbying governments to remain out of regulating them. With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others proceed to be in sizzling water over the content material that’s shared over their platforms — regardless of their makes an attempt to curb abuse and manipulation — it’s unlikely that this would be the closing phrase on any of this.

Full memo beneath:

Recently, social and content material platforms have as soon as once more been challenged by the posting and cross-posting of specific suicide content material that has affected all of us – in addition to our groups, customers, and broader communities.

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Like every of you, we labored diligently to mitigate its proliferation by eradicating the unique content material and its many variants, and curbing it from being considered or shared by others. However, we consider every of our particular person efforts to safeguard our personal customers and the collective group could be boosted considerably via a proper, collaborative strategy to early identification and notification amongst trade contributors of extraordinarily violent, graphic content material, together with suicide.

To this finish, we wish to suggest the cooperative growth of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that can permit us to shortly notify each other of such content material.

Separately, we’re conducting a radical evaluation of the occasions as they relate to the latest sharing of suicide content material, however it’s clear that early identification permits platforms to extra quickly reply to suppress extremely objectionable, violent materials.

We are conscious of the necessity for any such negotiated association to be clearly outlined with respect to the kinds of content material it might seize, and nimble sufficient to permit us every to maneuver shortly to inform each other of what could be captured by the MOU. We additionally respect there could also be regulatory constraints throughout areas that warrant additional engagement and consideration.

To this finish, we wish to convene a gathering of our respective Trust and Safety groups to additional focus on such a mechanism, which we consider will assist us all enhance security for our customers.

We sit up for your constructive response and dealing collectively to assist shield our customers and the broader group.


Vanessa Pappas
Head of TikTook

More to return.


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