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

Because the future of ByteDance’s TikTok ownership continues to get hammered out between tech leviathans, traders and authorities officers in assembly rooms, the video app right now revealed its newest transparency report. In all, over 104.5 million movies have been taken down; it had almost 1,800 authorized requests; and obtained 10,600 copyright takedown notices for the primary half of this 12 months. Alongside that, probably to offset the excessive numbers of illicit movies, TikTok additionally announced a new initiative — probably in partnership with different social apps — towards dangerous content material.

The figures within the transparency report underscore a second story line in regards to the fashionable app: the federal government might wish to shut down TikTok over nationwide safety considerations (until ByteDance finds a brand new non-Chinese language controlling construction that satisfies lawmakers). However in actuality, similar to different social media apps, TikTok has one other not-insignificant hearth to struggle: it’s grappling with a whole lot of unlawful and dangerous content material revealed and shared on its platform, and because it continues to develop in recognition (it now has greater than 700 million customers globally), that downside can even proceed to develop.

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

TikTok stated that 96.4% of the whole quantity have been eliminated earlier than they have been reported, with 90.3% eliminated earlier than they obtained any views. It doesn’t specify if these have been discovered by way of automated programs or by human moderators, or a mixture of each, but it surely sounds prefer it made a swap to algorithm-based moderation at the least in some markets:

“On account of the coronavirus pandemic, we relied extra closely on expertise to detect and robotically take away violating content material in markets similar to India, Brazil, and Pakistan,” it famous.

The corporate 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%. Different classes included suicide and self hurt, violent content material, hate speech and harmful people. (And movies might depend in multiple class, it famous.)

The most important origination marketplace for eliminated movies is the one through which TikTok 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.

Presently, it appears that evidently misinformation and disinformation should not the primary ways in which TikTok is getting abused, however they’re nonetheless important numbers: some 41,820 movies (lower than 0.5% of these eliminated within the US) violated TikTok’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.

Authorized requests, it stated, are on the rise, with 1,768 requests for person info from 42 nations/markets within the first six months of the 12 months, with 290 (16.4%) coming from US legislation enforcement companies, together with 126 subpoenas, 90 search warrants and 6 courtroom orders. In all, it had 135 requests from authorities companies to limit or take away content material from 15 nations/markets.

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

Social media coalition proposal

In the meantime, the letter, revealed in full by TikTok and reprinted under, 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 sort — there have been a number of different makes an attempt like this one the place a number of firms, erstwhile opponents 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 developing with a “collaborative method to early identification and notification amongst trade individuals of extraordinarily violent, graphic content material, together with suicide.” The MOU proposed by Pappas steered 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 corporate’s efforts on the dangerous content material coalition is yet one more instance of how social media firms are attempting to take their very own initiative and present that they’re making an attempt to be accountable, a key manner of lobbying governments to remain out of regulating them. With Fb, Twitter, YouTube and others proceed to be in scorching 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 last phrase on any of this.

Full memo under:

Not too long ago, 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.

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. Nevertheless, we consider every of our particular person efforts to safeguard our personal customers and the collective neighborhood could be boosted considerably by a proper, collaborative method to early identification and notification amongst trade individuals of extraordinarily violent, graphic content material, together with suicide.

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

Individually, we’re conducting an intensive evaluation of the occasions as they relate to the latest sharing of suicide content material, but it surely’s clear that early identification permits platforms to extra quickly reply to suppress extremely objectionable, violent materials.

We’re aware of the necessity for any such negotiated association to be clearly outlined with respect to the forms of content material it might seize, and nimble sufficient to permit us every to maneuver rapidly 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 want to convene a gathering of our respective Belief and Security groups to additional talk about such a mechanism, which we consider will assist us all enhance security for our customers.

We look ahead to your optimistic response and dealing collectively to assist defend our customers and the broader neighborhood.


Vanessa Pappas
Head of TikTok

Extra to come back.

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Ingrid Lunden