Short-form video app TikTok said on Wednesday it had removed nearly 62 million videos from its platform during the first three months of the year for violating its guidelines, as it seeks to address security- and privacy-related concerns. These videos accounted for less than 1 percent of the total posted on the platform and fell under categories such as “Adult nudity and sexual activities, harassment and bullying and hateful behavior,” the company said in a report released on its website.
About 8.5 million removals were from the United States, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, added. The company has put out transparency reports since 2019, after its platform that is massively popular among teenagers, came under scrutiny for content- and privacy-related issues which have also led some countries to ban the app. TikTok, which has been beefing up its security and privacy features to retain users, opened a content moderation center at its Los Angeles office last year to boost transparency. On June 22, the US Commerce Department rescinded a list of prohibited transactions with TikTok and WeChat that were issued in September as the Trump administration sought to block new US downloads of both Chinese-owned apps.
The withdrawals came after President Joe Biden earlier this month withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of Tencent-owned WeChat and TikTok, and ordered a Commerce Department review of security concerns posed by those apps and others. The Commerce Department under Trump also had sought to ban other transactions that would have effectively banned WeChat’s use in the United States and later sought similar restrictions that would have barred TikTok’s use. The Biden order directed the Commerce Department to monitor software applications like TikTok that could affect US national security, as well as to make recommendations within 120 days to protect US data acquired or accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries.
WeChat, which has been downloaded at least 19 million times by US users, is widely used as a medium for services, games and payments.
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