One of the most popular apps for teens around the world, TikTok, released its very first transparency report on December 30. The short document, released online, reports on countries that have submitted requests to remove content but also to access user data.
While this playback video platform owned by the Chinese giant ByteDance has come under much criticism for its moderation, the Beijing government is not mentioned in the report for the first half of 2019, nor even in the Eric Ebenstein's annex blog post, head of public policy for the social network. TikTok thus claims not to have received requests from the Chinese regime. The fact that the application works differently in its country of origin and under the name of Douyin could explain this absence according to the American magazine The Verge.
India leads requests
In six months, the application received 298 requests for legal information from 28 countries. Regarding requests to delete or restrict content, 26 were issued by 9 different countries.
At the head of the requests, two countries where TikTok is very popular:
France is also at the origin of requests: two for withdrawal of content, and eight for access to the data of its nationals.
In its report, the company, which claims 500 million users worldwide, shows that it does not respond favorably to all: some countries like the United Kingdom have not seen any of their requests succeed. “In the future, we will publish these reports regularly. We believe it is our responsibility to provide clear information (…) to show how we balance cooperation with legal demands and the protection of user rights “, assured Eric Ebenstein.