TikTok removes 62 million videos and 11 million accounts
In the first quarter of 2021, TikTok removed 61,951,327 videos from its platform for violating its Community Guidelines. The video platform has also removed the accounts of 11,149,514 members for the same reason. Of these, 7,263,952 accounts are believed to belong to underage users.
TikTok writes this in the latest edition of its transparency report.
93 per cent of videos removed within 24 hours
TikTok publishes figures about its platform every quarter. In it, she describes what she has done over the past three months to enforce the guidelines of her community. Due to persistent criticism, TikTok pays extra attention to the safety of youth. The social network introduced new privacy terms for minors at the beginning of this year. For example, registered accounts of 13 to 15-year-olds are set to private by default and the response options for this age group are limited.
In its own words, this was “a meaningful step” towards higher standards of privacy and security. TikTok is not there yet. To protect the integrity of the platform, she actively monitors users’ adherence to Community Guidelines. In the first three months of the year, TikTok was forced to remove nearly 62 million videos. It says that is less than 1 per cent of the total number of uploaded videos in the first quarter.
Nearly 3 million wrongly deleted videos reposted
Of the deleted videos, 91.3 per cent were taken offline before a user had a chance to report the video to TikTok. In 81.8 per cent of the videos, that happened before others had a chance to watch it. And 93.1 per cent of deleted videos were taken offline within 24 hours. Videos from the US were the most frequently removed from the platform, with a total of over 8.5 million videos. Other countries where TikTok had to intervene frequently were Pakistan (6.5 million videos), Brazil (6.1 million videos), Russia (3.7 million videos) and Indonesia (2.8 million videos).
Nudity, intimidation and bullying, hateful behaviour, illegal activities, self-injury and violence were the main arguments for TikTok to remove videos. Content creators can appeal to TikTok if they believe their video has been unjustly taken offline. That led the Chinese social network to repost 2,833,837 videos in the past six months after an appeal was filed.
TikTok removes 7.2 million accounts of minors
TikTok not only removed nearly 62 million videos in the first quarter. The video platform also deleted more than 11 million user accounts. More than 7.2 million cases probably involved profiles of minors. By this TikTok means children under the age of 13. The platform emphasizes that it concerns less than 1 per cent of all TikTok accounts.
Interest groups demand billions from TikTok
TikTok has been under fire for some time when it comes to underage users of the platform. In early 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a $5.7 million fine on the platform for illegally collecting data from minors. At the beginning of this year, TikTok put on the table $92 million to end 20 privacy lawsuits against the company.
The Consumers’ Association is absolutely not pleased with the way TikTok deals with young people. The interest group believes that the general terms and conditions are incomprehensible to teenagers. In addition, the company does not communicate clearly enough about what data it collects and what it does with it. Finally, the Bond finds it ‘shameless’ that TikTok is allowed to use videos from content creators without permission or financial compensation. Together with consumer interest groups from 17 EU Member States, the Consumers’ Association filed a complaint with the European consumer rights organization BEUC in February.
Furthermore, the Consumers’ Association, together with the Take Back Your Privacy Foundation, threatens to start a lawsuit against TikTok for unlawfully collecting and trading personal data of Dutch children. The Bond wants TikTok to stop this and delete the data already collected. Finally, she demands compensation of 1.5 billion euros for the infringement of the rights of Dutch children.
The Consumers’ Association is not alone in its struggle. The Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI) last month demanded compensation of 1.4 billion euros from TikTok for violating privacy and consumer legislation. The social network would also do too little to prevent minors from being exposed to harmful content. The foundation says it represents more than one million underage TikTok users from the Netherlands.
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