China's Bytedance Technology Co owns TikTok. (Photo: File)
China's Bytedance Technology Co owns TikTok. (Photo: File)

Social media video platform has removed over six million videos that it said have violated its Community Guidelines. The action comes days after Madras High Court asked the state government to ban TikTok stating that it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators.

China’s Bytedance Technology Co that owns the platform had asked the to quash the directive saying that a ban on social media platform will hurt free speech rights. The apex court is expected to hear the plea on Monday.

The company has also introduced age-gate feature for its new users, which will only allow users age 13 years and above to login and create an account on TikTok. In addition, TikTok has launched Safety Center and resource pages in local languages that it says will help in tackling anti-bullying cases. The pages are available in in ten local languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Oriya.

“As a global community, safety has been one of TikTok’s key priorities. The launch of our age-gate feature in addition to our existing takedown of content that violates our Community Guidelines reinforce our ongoing commitment to ensure that our platform remains a safe and positive space for our Indian users and we discharge our obligations under the Intermediary Guidelines of India, in a meaningful manner,” Helena Lersch, Director, Global Public Policy, TikTok said, adding that the company is looking forward to introducing more relevant features and initiatives to help users in India be safe and continue to enhance their experience with TikTok.

The company said that it is using content moderation technology with a human moderation team for the removal of inappropriate content and termination of users’ accounts that violates its Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Community Policies. The team is based in over 20 countries including India and they covers major Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati.

According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower report in February 2019, TikTok has been downloaded more than 240 million times in India and as many as 43% of the app’s new users were from India. Overall, 25% of TikTok’s downloads to date have come from India.

TikTok is immensely popular in rural India and it has become a huge competitor of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and video platform YouTube.

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