By Michael Beckerman, VP, Head of US Public Policy & Eric Han, Head of Safety, TikTok US

Today we released our global Transparency Report for the first six months of 2020. This report provides insight into content removed from TikTok for violating our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. It also shows how we responded to copyright content take-down requests, law enforcement, and government agencies. 

We know how vital it is to build trust by being transparent with our community, and we're committed to leading the way when it comes to bringing accountability to the tech industry. It's why we release these reports to hold ourselves accountable to our community and provide transparency into the actions we take to help keep TikTok safe for everyone. It's the reason we opened our global Transparency and Accountability Centers, where lawmakers and experts can see first-hand how we moderate content, secure our platform, and prioritize user safety and content diversity as we build TikTok. At our physical centers, we've even made TikTok's source code available for testing and evaluation by experts.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world come to TikTok for entertainment, self-expression, and connection. Our focus remains on promoting a safe app experience that fosters joy and belonging among our growing global community. 

Here's what's covered in our global H1 2020 Transparency Report

Promoting safety and community on TikTok 

In the first half of 2020 we made numerous improvements in our continuous strive to offer a safe and uplifting experience for people on our platform. 

  • we expanded our Community Guidelines, including new policies to counter misinformation and disinformation
  • we introduced fact-checking programs to help us verify misleading content about the novel coronavirus, elections, and more
  • we added in-app educational PSAs on hashtags related to important topics in the public discourse, such as COVID-19, the elections, Black Lives Matter, and harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon
  • we launched Family Pairing, a suite of industry-leading youth safety features that let parents and guardians connect their TikTok account to their teens' accounts to guide the type of content available to their teen, promote healthy screentime habits, and choose appropriate message settings
  • we built global partnerships with leading safety organizations, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and WePROTECT Global Alliance
  • we created a Content Advisory Council of experts on topics like hate speech, inclusive AI, and youth safety

Community Guidelines enforcement 

TikTok has experienced incredible and continued user growth in 2020. As more of our lives moved online, people increasingly found meaningful ways to connect with each other on our platform. With significantly more content being created by our global community than ever before, our content removals have increased compared to our last report. 

  • 104,543,719 videos were removed globally for violating our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, which is less than 1% of all videos uploaded on TikTok. We found and removed 96.4% of these videos before they were reported to us, and 90.3% were removed before they received any views.
  • Of the total videos removed globally, 9,822,996 (9.4%) were removed in the US. Diving into some of the areas of particular interest over these six months:
  • In the US, 91.5% of violating videos were removed in less than 24 hours after they were uploaded to TikTok.

Legal requests 

The volume of legal requests also increased as our community grew over the first half of this year.

  • We received 1,768 requests for user information from 42 countries/markets 
  • Of those requests, 290 (16.4%) came from US law enforcement agencies. We received and evaluated: 
    • 126 subpoenas (when a US governmental entity issues a subpoena, we may disclose user data that includes basic subscriber information)
    • 90 search warrants (when a US governmental entity obtains a search warrant, we may disclose user data that include video content and user interactions)
    • 6 court orders (when a US governmental entity obtains a court order, we may disclose user data that includes log data)
    • 68 emergency disclosure requests
  •  We received 135 requests from government agencies to restrict or remove content from 15 countries/markets, and 4 of those requests came from US government agencies
  • We evaluated 10,625 copyrighted content take-down notices globally

Our report has the full details on how we evaluate and comply with those requests.

Our commitment to transparency and accountability 

TikTok strives to be the most transparent and accountable company in the industry when it comes to how we're keeping our users safe. We're proud of the progress we've made to increase visibility in these areas, and we aim to keep providing more information in each report. We're also working towards being able to report this information and the progress we make on a quarterly basis to increase accountability to our community. 

If you have questions or feedback about our Transparency Report, please reach out to transparency [at] tiktok [dot] com.