Why TikTok Removed 107 Million Videos: Insights


In an effort to ensure a safer environment for its ever-growing user base, TikTok removed a staggering 106,476,032 videos in the second quarter of 2023.

Why TikTok Removed 107 Million Videos: Insights and Reasons

This marks a significant 19 percent increase compared to the previous quarter and a substantial 26 percent rise compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. 

According to an Atlas VPN report, Interestingengineering.com says such a surge in video removals raises questions about TikTok's ability to protect its users from harmful content and exploitation.

Insights and Reasons 

This increase in video removals could be attributed to the revisions made to TikTok's community guideline policy, starting in April 2023 and followed by updates in May and August. These changes included new provisions related to synthetic media, hate speech, election integrity efforts, and a commitment to uphold human rights and international legal frameworks.

Despite the spike in removals, the overall number of penalized videos in the first half of 2023 (197,479,542) remains lower than in the same period in 2022 (216,114,816), reflecting a decrease of nearly 9 percent. 

Total TikTok videos or accounts removed for violations in Q2 2023
Total TikTok videos or accounts removed for violations in Q2 2023 | Source: interestingengineering.com / AtlasVPN

However, concerns about the platform's content management persist, prompting a need for more substantial and consistent efforts to ensure a safe environment for its vast user base.

  • Nudity, Body exposure, or Graphic images Takes the Lead

Out of the nearly 107 million videos removed in the second quarter of 2023, almost 39.1 percent contained sensitive and mature themes, including nudity, body exposure, or graphic images. Fortunately, TikTok's vigilant moderators deleted approximately 83.1 percent of these videos before receiving a single view.

  • 2nd category contains contents promoting drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other fraudulent activities

The second-largest category for removals was regulated goods and commercial activities, accounting for 28 percent of all deductions. This ranged from content promoting drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to conducting scams or fraudulent activities.

  • Bullying, hate speech, and youth exploitation Came Third

Safety and civility violations, such as bullying, hate speech, and youth exploitation, constituted the third-largest category of removals at 14.5 percent. The mental and behavioral health category followed closely, which was the primary reason for removal 10.1 percent of the time. 

  • Privacy and security issues were less common

Privacy and security issues were less common, with content featuring personal information leading to a reduction in only 7.1 percent of cases. The remaining 1.2 percent was covered by integrity and authenticity violations, such as spreading misinformation or paid political content.

While TikTok's efforts to address safety concerns are commendable, the ongoing challenges with content removal and user protection underscore the need for more substantial investments in proactive measures to address these critical safety issues effectively.

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