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Report: Takedown rates of TikTok videos show wide global variance in moderation

While Pakistan rates number one for video removals, Australia ranks surprisingly close to the top 10 nations by user base, according to a new survey.

user icon David Hollingworth
Fri, 13 Oct 2023
Report: Takedown rates of TikTok videos show wide global variance in moderation
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Pakistan tops the list with an impressive 70.91 per cent takedown rate. In raw numbers, according to a survey by family safety app developer Canopy.us, that equates to 11,707,020 TikTok videos removed from the platform, compared to the total number of TikTok users in the country – 16,510,000.

The rest of the top five are Azerbaijan, with a 65.30 per cent video removal rate; the Dominican Republic, with 21.70 per cent; the United Kingdom, with 19.65 per cent; and finally, Cambodia, with a TikTok video removal rate of 17.33 per cent compared to its total user base.

The Philippines, with a 10.43 per cent removal rate, rounds out the top 10, and Australia is not far behind. Australia has about 8.3 million TikTok users, with a total of 792,784 videos removed from the platform, giving us a takedown rate of 9.55 per cent.


At the other end of the scale are countries like Japan, with a relatively low takedown rate of just 1.32 per cent.

The reasons behind the takedowns are also illuminating, with protecting minors being the highest-scoring reason, at 30.6 per cent of all videos removed. Criminal behaviour and the selling of unregulated goods follows at 27.2 per cent, with nudity and sexual activity among adults coming in third with 14.7 per cent of takedowns.

According to a company spokesperson, the varying rate of takedowns between countries illustrates the difficulty of moderating such a platform, especially when it has such a broad user base.

“As a global platform, TikTok grapples with the delicate balance of adhering to local regulations and maintaining a vibrant and diverse content ecosystem,” a Canopy.us spokesperson said in a statement. “The varying percentages of video removals reflect the platform’s ongoing efforts to address these challenges. The findings also shed light on the importance of region-specific content guidelines and the need for transparent and effective communication between platform operators, content creators, and regulatory authorities.”

“As TikTok continues to evolve, it remains imperative for the platform to adapt and refine its content moderation strategies to foster a safe and inclusive environment for users worldwide, particularly vulnerable minors. Parents of young TikTok users may take solace in this video removal data, as it suggests a strict removal of inappropriate content.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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