Over 9m TikTok videos removed in Pakistan in last quarter, second highest in the world

Published October 14, 2021
TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. — Reuters/File
TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of a displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration taken November 27, 2019. — Reuters/File

Social media application TikTok said on Thursday that Pakistan ranked second in the world for the largest volume of videos — 9,851,404 — taken down for violating community guidelines in the second quarter of the current year.

In a press release, the Chinese-owned app shared the findings of its Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, which details the volume and nature of content and accounts removed from the platform in the second quarter of 2021.

"The report provides an insight into content removed for violating the strict community guidelines, reinforcing the platform’s public accountability to the community, policymakers, and non-governmental organisations," the press release said.

The press release said that 81,518,334 videos were removed globally from April to June, comprising less than one per cent of all uploaded content. Of these, 93pc were actioned within 24 hours of posting and 94.1pc before being reported by a user.

The company added that 87.5pc of the content that was removed had zero views.

According to the press release, 73.3pc of content promoting harassment and bullying videos and 72.9pc videos focused on hateful behavior were removed prior to being reported — an increase from the 66.2pc and 67pc respectively, from the first quarter of this year.

"The improvement stems from the pioneering combination of technology and content moderation by a dedicated investigations team used to identify videos that violate policies. To better enforce these policies, moderators also receive regular training to identify content featuring reappropriation, slurs and bullying," the statement said.

The video-sharing platform, which has been the victim of several bans in Pakistan, is currently blocked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The first time the app was banned in Pakistan was in October 2020. According to the telecom regulator, the decision was taken over complaints regarding indecent and immoral content.

It was lifted 10 days later after the company assured the telecom regulator it would block accounts "spreading obscenity".

This year in March, the Peshawar High Court also imposed a ban on the video-​sharing application that was later lifted in April.

In June, the Sindh High Court followed suit and ordered the PTA to suspend access to TikTok in the country for “spreading immorality and obscenity”. The court had lifted the suspension three days after issuing the order.

In July, the PTA had again blocked access to TikTok for its failure to take down "inappropriate content".

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