Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos
The app has been marred by controversy in recent months. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 October 2019

Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos
  • An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos
  • The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns

BEIJING: Social media app TikTok has taken down accounts that were posting propaganda videos for the Daesh group, a company employee said Tuesday, in the latest scandal to hit the popular platform.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, claimed some 500 million users globally last year, making it one of the most popular social apps.

An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos.

“Only one of those videos even had views that reached into double digits before being taken down,” said the staffer, who declined to be named.

The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story on Monday.

The Journal said the posts were from about two dozen accounts, which were identified by social media intelligence company Storyful.

“Content promoting terrorist organizations have absolutely no place on TikTok,” the company said in a statement emailed to AFP.

“We permanently ban any such accounts and associated devices as soon as identified, and we continuously develop ever-stronger controls to proactively detect suspicious activity,” it said.

Daesh's self-declared “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria fell in March, but the group remains active in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as still inspiring jihadists through an online presence.

The TikTok platform, which allows users to create and share videos of 15 seconds, is particularly popular with teenagers.

“Unlike other platforms, which are centered around users’ friends or communities, TikTok is based on engaging with a never-ending stream of new content,” said Darren Davidson, the editor-in-chief of Storyful.

“The Daesh postings violate TikTok’s policies, but the sheer volume of content makes it difficult for TikTok to police their platform and root out these videos,” he said.

The app has been marred by controversy in recent months. In April, TikTok was briefly banned by an Indian court over claims it was promoting pornography among children.

The app is banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.

The company has refuted the allegations, saying they abide by local privacy laws.

ByteDance has a version of TikTok in China called Douyin.


YouTube bans seven Houthi channels 

YouTube bans seven Houthi channels 
Updated 24 January 2021

YouTube bans seven Houthi channels 

YouTube bans seven Houthi channels 
  • It deleted accounts that the group had been using to share its agenda
  • The terrorist-designated organization used the channels and other social media platforms to stream propaganda and encourage violence

LONDON: YouTube permanently deleted seven Houthi accounts on Sunday due to a breach of its policy, less than a week after the US designated the militia as a foreign terrorist organization. 

It deleted accounts that the group had been using to share its agenda, such as its main channel “Ferqat Ansar Allah” and “Al Ealam Al-Harbe,” which translates as the war media.

The terrorist-designated organization used the channels and other social media platforms to stream propaganda and encourage violence.

Many leaders and members within the Houthi movement remain active on social media, such as the group’s current leader Muhammad Ali Al-Houthis, and continue to incite hate and violent speech.

The US designation came into effect last Tuesday, the day before President Donald Trump left office. The Houthis are accused of waging a deadly campaign that has destabilized Yemen and the Middle East.

“The designations are intended to hold Ansar Allah accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month, using the official name of the Houthi movement.

He added that the designations would not affect the work of relief agencies.