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Wednesday November 30, 2022

TikTok takes down 12.5m videos of Pakistan over guidelines violations

TikTok explained it removed the videos for violating its "robust set of community guidelines that are designed to foster an experience that prioritizes safety, inclusion, and authenticity

By Wasif Shakil & Web Desk
July 20, 2022
TikTok takes down 12.5m videos of Pakistan over guidelines violations

The short video-sharing platform TikTok has said it removed nearly 12.5 million videos from Pakistan in first quarter of the running year for Community Guidelines violations.

TikTok released its latest Community Guidelines Enforcement Report for the first quarter from January to March 2022 on July 19. The report includes updates on its commitment to support the safety of the community and foster kindness on the platform.

The report reflects the platform’s ongoing commitment to earn trust by being accountable while working to be safe and welcoming. Efforts include fostering authentic engagement across the comment space, safety reminders for creators and adhering strictly to the extensive Community Guidelines.

"With 12,490,309 videos removed, Pakistan ranked second in the world for the largest volume of videos taken down for Community Guidelines violations between January - March 2022," TikTok said in its press release.

"According to the latest Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, Pakistan had a removal rate of 96.5 per cent before any views and 97.3 per cent before 24 hours. A proactive removal rate of 98.5 per cent was used by TikTok to remove 12,490,309 Pakistani videos."

The video-sharing platform said in the press release that its report 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.

According to the report, Pakistan had a removal rate of 96.5 per cent before any views and 97.3 per cent before 24 hours. Whereas, 98.5 per cent proactive removal rate was used by TikTok to remove 12,490,309 Pakistani videos.

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.

The videos were removed because they violated TikTok’s robust set of community guidelines that are designed to foster an experience that prioritizes safety, inclusion, and authenticity.

The report 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 labeled content from 49 Russian state-controlled media accounts. The platform also identified and removed 6 networks and 204 accounts globally for coordinated efforts to influence public opinion and mislead users about their identities.

The report also revealed that the total volume of ads removed for violating TikTok's advertising policies and guidelines increased in the first quarter of 2022.

Reacting to the development, digital rights expert Haroon Baloch said that the censorship by the social media company is "massive under the garb of content regulation".

"As per the data, TikTok removes more than 138000 videos, which tells us of the scope of censorship. At the same time, there are issues related to transparency in the data made public as their transparency report lacks in disaggregated details, such as under what category and what grounds provided by the government they put down the content," said Baloch.

He lamented that censorship in Pakistan is "increasing day by day, especially with the stifling of free speech".