With millions of users having access to smartphones across the world with the ability to capture and share content across the world, stringent policies to control what content is permitted to the public should be crucial for social media platforms. The sensitive nature of certain content should in some way be filtered before going live.
TikTok has released its community guidelines outlining its strict policies pertaining to the content which allows on its platform. It does not allow for any content which shows nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit content and the company clearly states that it prohibits content depicting or supporting non-consensual sexual acts, or any other form of sexual solicitation or imagery.
TikTok Community Guidelines Enforced
Other content that the platform strickly forbids is any form of bullying, harassment; threats of hacking, blackmail, hateful behavior, portrayals of violence; extremist activity, individuals or organisations demonstrating such ideologies or activities; violent graphic content; unhealthy eating behaviors; copyright and trademark infringement or any content that infringes upon the platforms goal of the For You Feed (FYF) which promotes the provision of original content that honors their mission of inspiring creativity and bringing joy to the platforms diverse community around the world.
According to data from Atlas VPN team based on TikTok’s Community Guideline Enforcement report, TikTok removed approximately 107 million videos for violating content regulations.
The platform also deleted a total of 107,917,818 accounts in Q2 2023. Notably, most removed accounts belonged to users under 13, which is inline with the platforms minimum age requirement.
Protecting Users From Harmful Content
A rise in removals comes amidst concerns over TikTok’s ability to protect its users from harmful content and exploitation. The Data Protection Commission recently found that in the latter half of 2020, TikTok’s default settings did not do enough to protect children’s accounts, resulting in a €345 million fine.
The results of Q2 2O23 show a noticeable 19% uptick from the previous quarter (91,003,510 videos removed) and a 26% increase compared to Q4 2022 (85,860,819 videos removed).
An increase in removals could be connected with several revisions to TikTok’s community guideline policy since April 2023, following discussions that the platform should be banned in the United States for national security. Subsequent updates to the policy were released in May and August.
Explicit Content Among Highest Offenders
Of all the nearly 107 million videos removed in Q2 2023, almost 39.1% contained sensitive and mature themes, such as nudity and body exposure or graphic images. Thankfully, moderators deleted around 83.1% of all these videos before they had a single view.
Regulated goods and commercial activities were the second-largest deletion category, comprising 28% of all removals. This ranges from consuming and promoting drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to conducting scams or fraud.
Safety and civility violations — such as bullying, hate speech, and youth exploitation — round out the top three, equal to 14.5% of all cases. This is closely followed by the mental and behavioral health category, which was the main reason for removal 10.1% of the time.
Privacy and security were slightly less common, with content featuring personal information warranting removal in only 7.1% of all cases. The remaining 1.2% was covered by integrity and authenticity violations, such as spreading misinformation or paid political content.