Tuesday, July 19, 2022
KARACHI: More than 12 million videos were removed from TikTok between January to March 2022, making Pakistan the second country in the world to take down the largest volume of videos for violation of the platform's community guidelines.
According to a quarterly report issued by the Chinese-owned tech giant, 12,490,309 videos were taken down from the platform, with a removal rate of 96.5% before any views and 97.3% before 24 hours of uploading.
A proactive removal rate of 98.5% was used by TikTok to remove 12,490,309 Pakistani videos, the company said in its Community Guidelines Enforcement Report for Q1 2022.
With these figures, Pakistan ranks second in the world for the largest volume of videos taken down in Q1 2022, following the US which ranks first with 14,044,224 videos removed. In this quarter, 102,305,516 videos were removed globally, which represents about 1% of all videos uploaded to TikTok.
Other top countries in the takedown list are the Philippines (7,902,705), Indonesia (6,892,463), Brazil (4,782,803), Russia (4,696,930), Bangladesh (3,475,456), Mexico (2,773,898), and Vietnam (2,438,307).
The videos were removed because they violated TikTok’s community guidelines that are “designed to foster an experience that prioritises safety, inclusion, and authenticity.”
It also revealed that in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, TikTok's safety team focused on the Ukraine war and removed 41,191 videos, 87% of which violated its policies against harmful misinformation. TikTok also labelled content from 49 Russian state-controlled media accounts.
The platform also identified and removed six networks and 204 accounts globally for coordinated efforts to influence public opinion and mislead users about their identities.
In total, 117,768,586 accounts were removed by the firm out of which 71,021,950 were suspected to be belonging to users under the age of 13 while 32,759,241 accounts were fake.
As per the report, the total volume of ads removed for violating TikTok's advertising policies and guidelines increased in the first quarter of 2022.
It also reiterated the company’s ongoing commitment to earn trust by being accountable while working to be safe and welcoming.
TikTok added that in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, the safety team focused on the conflict and removed 41,191 videos, 87% of which violated its policies against harmful misinformation.
Speaking to Geo.tv, Nighat Dad, Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation, a research and advocacy NGO, said that while she appreciates TikTok’s efforts to offer greater insight into how they implement their content policies, especially by expanding the scope of this quarter’s Guidelines Enforcement Report to include data on videos removed by sub-policy, the fact remains that the information provided, particularly the information on content removal requests by country, is still not sufficient.
"It is alarming to see that Pakistan ranks second among countries for Content Removal with more than 12 million videos removed proactively, at a 98.5% proactive video removal rate. There is little transparency regarding TikTok’s algorithms and the mechanisms it is adopting to automatically delete videos on the platform," she said.
Dad added that in the backdrop of closed-door meetings between TikTok and Pakistan’s regulator, this lack of transparency indicates an insidious creep towards over-regulation at the behest of the government which poses a threat to freedom of expression in Pakistan.
"TikTok needs to do better to ensure that it does not inadvertently de-platform those acting within the scope of their rights as content creators and citizens of Pakistan."