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TikTok removes 380,000 videos in U.S. for violating hate speech policy

PUBLISHED: Thu, 20 Aug 2020 20:35:29 GMT


Reuters

(Reuters) – TikTok has removed more than 380,000 videos in the United States for violating its hate speech policy so far this year, the short-form video app said on Thursday.

The app, owned by China’s ByteDance, also said it banned more than 1,300 accounts for posting hateful content.

TikTok said in a blog post that it had acted on content such as race-based harassment and that it also had a zero-tolerance policy on organized hate groups and on content that denied “violent tragedies” like the Holocaust or slavery.

The app, which is hugely popular among teenagers, is best known for dance and lip-syncing routines and viral challenges, but a review by the Anti-Defamation League earlier this month said that the platform was being used to spread white supremacist and anti-Semitic hate speech.

TikTok, which has been under scrutiny over its content moderation practices, in March named the initial members of a content advisory council, to give advice on its policies and evaluate the company’s actions.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump stands during a news conference announcing Alexander Acosta as the new Labor Secretary nominee in the East Room at the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The announcement comes a day after Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump also ordered ByteDance last week to divest TikTok’s U.S. operations within 90 days, in the latest effort to ramp up pressure on the Chinese company over concerns about the safety of the personal data it handles. U.S. officials have expressed concerns that information on users could be passed on to China’s government.

TikTok has said that it has never provided user data to China and that it would not do so if asked.

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