Amidst tight scrutiny by the government and regulatory bodies across the world, short-video app TikTok has released its transparency report where India has topped the list in terms of legal requests for user information and content removal.
According to this report, the 15-second vertical video app registered a total of 107 requests by the Indian government, comprising 99 legal requests and 9 emergency requests.
The requests from India specified 143 accounts for TikTok to take action. As a result, the Bytedance-owned app said it took an action on 47% of the accounts mentioned.
TikTok received the requests from government agencies or law enforcement official in the first half of 2019. Most of these includes requests to pull down content deemed to be in violation of local laws, or to provide information related to accounts under certain defined circumstances to assist in a criminal investigation.
This comes at a time when India has become the largest market for TikTok outside its home turf China with an estimated 200 million-plus monthly active users. As far as the number of legal requests for user information is concerned against MAUs, India is still behind among the top five countries, including the US, Japan, Germany and the UK.
In addition, India is at the top of the list of countries that have asked TikTok to remove or restrict content, followed by the US, Japan, Australia and France.
TikTok also said that it removes content if the firm receives an effective notice from a rights holder of potential intellectual property infringement.
One of the fastest-growing apps across the globe, TikTok had recently achieved a milestone of 1.5 billion downloads worldwide with India contributing one-third of the total downloads.
Ever since facing temporary ban by Madras High Court and regulatory heat from the Indian government, TikTok has taken several safety measures such as removing 60 lakh video clips for violating content protocol in the country, banning paid political advertisement on the platform and establishing a data center to store information of the users locally.
The Chinese company has also worked towards having a robust content moderator team. It had said earlier this year that they moderate videos in 15 different languages.