TikTok will automate video removals for nudity, violence

Beijing: Short video-making app TikTok has said it will use automation to detect and remove many of the videos that violate its policies.

For the past year, the service has been testing and tweaking systems to find and take down such content. It will roll out those systems in the US and Canada over the next few weeks, Engadget reported.

To start with, the algorithms will be on the lookout for posts that violate policies related to the safety of minors, violence, graphic content, nudity, sex, illegal activity and regulated goods.

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If the systems detect a violation, they’ll yank the video immediately and the user who posted it can appeal. Users can still flag videos for manual review as well, the report said.

“Automated reviews will be “reserved for content categories where our technology has the highest degree of accuracy”,” TikTok added.

Only one in 20 of the videos that have been automatically removed were false positives and should have remained on the platform, according to the company.

The company hopes to improve the algorithms’ accuracy levels and notes that “requests to appeal a video’s removal have remained consistent”.

TikTok said automation should free up its safety staff to focus on content that requires a more nuanced approach, including videos containing bullying, harassment, misinformation and hate speech.

Crucially, the systems could reduce the number of potentially distressing videos that the safety team has to watch, such as those containing extreme violence or child exploitation.

Facebook, for one, has been accused of not doing enough to protect the well-being and mental health of content moderators, who are tasked with reviewing disturbing content often.

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