A TikTok report has revealed that India makes the highest number of requests for account information and content removal requests.
In its TikTok Transparency Report, the short format video app said that it is occasionally presented with requests from various official bodies, such as government agencies or law enforcement officials, asking it to take certain actions at their behest.
“These include requests to take down content deemed to be in violation of local laws or to provide information related to accounts under certain defined circumstances, such as to assist in a criminal investigation or emergency request. We also receive content take-down requests from copyright owners looking to protect their intellectual property,” it said in the report.
The report showed that TikTok received 99 legal requests and eight emergency requests, coming up to 107 total requests for information on 143 accounts between January 1 to June 30, 2019. Of this, TikTok claims to have produced some information for 47% of the requests.
India was followed by United States, which made a total of 79 requests for information on 255 accounts, of which the app gave some information on 85% of the requests. Japan made 35 requests, followed by Germany, which made 12.
TikTok said in its report any request received is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency, to determine whether, for example, the requesting entity is authorized to gather evidence in connection with a law enforcement investigation or to investigate an emergency involving imminent harm.
Government requests for content removal
In terms of government bodies requesting removal of content, India again made the highest number of requests with 11 requests made for content 9 accounts. Of this, TikTok removed/restricted eight accounts, while removed requested content for 4 of the requests.
India was again followed by the US, which made 6 requests for content on 7 accounts, of which all 7 accounts were removed or restricted and content was removed for one of the requests only.
Japan followed with 3 requests for 5 accounts and Australia and France which made 2 requests each for 2 accounts.
These requests, TikTok claims are to remove content that government bodies deem to be a violation of local laws. TikTok reviews such requests closely and evaluates the specified content in accordance with its Community Guidelines and local laws.
In terms of copyrighted content take-down notices, TikTok received a total of 3,345 requests of which it removed content for 85% of the requests.
“We honour valid take-down requests based on violations of copyright law, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Upon receiving an effective notice from a rights holder of potential intellectual property infringement, TikTok will remove the infringing content in a timely manner,” TikTok said in a report.
This comes after the Chinese company came under the scanner several times in the past year for harassment, child-privacy violation and inappropriate content, among others.
In April, the Madras High Court issued an interim order to the central government to ban TikTok in India based on a petition filed by advocate Muthukumar. The interim order to ban the app was given by the court citing inappropriate and pornographic content.