Tiktok, the video-sharing platform, released its first transparency report revealing the number of requests for user information and content takedown from governments across the world. As per the report, India led in both the categories with a total of 107 requests for user IDs and 11 requests regarding the removal of account or content.
The transparency report holds the data from January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. In this period, the US made 79 requests for user ID information, followed by Japan with 35 requests. In terms of accounts specified under these requests, the US leads the chart with 255 accounts, followed by India with 143 accounts and Japan with 39 accounts.
Regarding content or account removal requests, after India's 11 requests, the US stayed on the second spot with six requests, followed by Japan with three such requests. While India asked for eight accounts to be removed or restricted, the US and Japan requested for seven accounts and four accounts respectively. Also, India asked for four contents to be removed or restricted, which is greater than any other country.
Tech companies are often presented with requests from governments or law enforcement officials asking for certain actions. TikTok says that these requests to take down content deemed to be in violation of local laws or to provide information related to accounts under certain defined circumstances, such as to "assist in a criminal investigation" or emergency request.
TikTok's transparency report does not list any request made by the Chinese government. The platform is owned by Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, which says that TikTok doesn't operate in China and is not obliged to censor content on the Chinese government's request.
TikTok says that it will regularly release such transparency reports in future. It also informed that a report covering the second half of 2019 should be out in the coming months.