The platform revealed it removed 3.5 million ads and pieces of content containing misinformation, including on COVID-19 and global elections.
TikTok released its transparency report on Wednesday, shedding light on how the social media platform is addressing misinformation, community guideline enforcement and content restriction as it grows into a global force.
The report, based on data from the second half of 2020, shows the platform has doubled-down on policing misinformation and harmful content in advertising. From July 1 to Dec. 31, TikTok rejected 3,501,477 ads for violating advertising policies and guidelines, bought by advertisers ranging from political advertisers to those shilling weight loss supplements.
TikTok has previously come under scrutiny for lack of appropriate protections for children when it comes to harmful content. Last week, TechCrunch reported the platform was hit with another complaint in Europe regarding child safety.
So the platform partnered with organizations including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Kids Helpline to address mental health concerns on the platform by redirecting all relevant searches to emergency support resources. TikTok also partnered with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) for an awareness push on National Eating Disorders Awareness week.
The report shows that TikTok stepped up its effort to enforce community guidelines on a global scale.
In the last six months of 2020, the platform removed 89,132,938 videos for violating its Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, with the highest volume in the United States.
While the removed comprised less than 1% of all content uploaded on TikTok, they spanned an array of violations, including nudity, harassment and violent extremism.
On the election front, TikTok removed 347,225 videos in the U.S. containing misinformation, disinformation and manipulated media. The platform also partnered with fact checking organizations including PolitiFact, Lead Stories and SciVerify to create a 2020 U.S. election guide on its Discover page pointing to verified search results, hashtags and videos.
Similarly, TikTok pulled down 51,505 videos globally promoting COVID-19 misinformation, 86% of which were removed before they were reported, 87% within 24-hours and 71% before receiving any views.
The platform also made COVID-19 public health information from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control visible on the Discover page and on all relevant hashtags, videos and search results.
When contacted for comment, TikTok pointed to the statement made in the report: "We are committed to being transparent about how we keep our platform safe, because it helps build trust and understanding with our community. Today, we're taking another step to be accountable to this commitment by releasing our fourth global Transparency Report."