TikTok removed no less than 81,518,334 offensive videos in the three months from April, according to a new enforcement report that lays bare the extent of hate and harassment on the platform.
Better known for its comedy, dance and education videos, the short-form content portal has been engaged in an ongoing battle to enforce its terms of service, with 93% of videos that flout its rules removed within 24 hours of going live.
The ByteDance video-sharing network states that 94.1% of harmful content is deleted before being reported by a user, adding that 87.5% of expunged content failed to make a single impression – an improvement on the 81.8% figure quoted in the last report.
In a blog post outlining the complexity of the issue, TikTok wrote: “Harassment as a whole, and hate speech in particular, are highly nuanced and contextual issues that can be challenging to detect and moderate correctly every time. For instance, reappropriation of a term is not a violation of our policies, but using that reappropriated term to attack or abuse another person would violate our hateful behavior policy.
“Bullying can be highly personal and require offline context that isn’t always available. To better enforce our policies, we regularly train and guide our team on how to differentiate between, for instance, reappropriation and slurs or satire and bullying. We’ve also hired policy experts in civil rights, equity and inclusion.”
In common with other social platforms, TikTok has been forced to take brand safety seriously to keep advertisers on side, including beefing up tools and resources for members to filter, delete, report and block problem comments and accounts.
New features include the ability to mute comments and individual viewers during livestreams and the removal of muted individuals’ comment histories.
On the leading edge of this debate has been the biggest platform of them all, Facebook, which found itself in the dock yet again this week facing uncomfortable accusations from a whistleblower alleging the company prioritized ad revenue over user safety.