TikTok removes over 104 million videos in first-half for violating guidelines

TikTok removes over 104 million videos in first-half for violating guidelines
TikTok started fact-checking programs in the first-half of the year. (AP)
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Updated 22 September 2020

TikTok removes over 104 million videos in first-half for violating guidelines

TikTok removes over 104 million videos in first-half for violating guidelines
  • TikTok started fact-checking programs in the first-half of the year

ByteDance-owned short-video app TikTok said on Tuesday it removed over 104 million videos from its platform globally in the first half of the year for violating guidelines or terms of service.
“Of those videos, we found and removed 96.4 percent of videos before a user reported them, and 90.3 percent were removed before they received any views,” TikTok said in a transparency report.
TikTok started fact-checking programs in the first-half of the year to verify content related to the coronavirus and elections.
The report comes at a time China’s ByteDance has been racing to avoid a crackdown on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said it would block new downloads and updates to the app.
US officials had expressed concern that personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app was being passed on to China’s Communist Party government.
The company said on Tuesday it got 1,768 requests for user data, with 290, or 16.4 percent, of those from US law enforcement agencies.


Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai in custody after fraud charge

Updated 03 December 2020

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai in custody after fraud charge

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai in custody after fraud charge
  • Authorities have intensified a crackdown on key opposition figures in the Chinese-ruled city
  • ‘This is about dirtying Jimmy up. It’s Beijing’s policing brought to Hong Kong’

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was denied bail on Thursday on a charge of fraud related to the lease of a building that houses his Apple Daily, an anti-government tabloid.
Authorities have intensified a crackdown on key opposition figures in the Chinese-ruled city since Beijing circumvented the local legislature and imposed sweeping national security legislation on the global financial center on June 30.
While Lai’s fraud charge did not fall under the national security law, it marks the latest crackdown on pro-democracy figures in the former British colony, which was handed back to Beijing in 1997 with a promise to maintain the free-wheeling city’s way of life for 50 years.
Critics say the law crushes freedoms in the global financial center, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged anti-China, pro-democracy protests last year.
On Wednesday, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activists Joshua Wong was jailed for more than 13 months for his role in an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019, the toughest and most high-profile sentencing of an opposition figure this year.
Lai, 73, and two senior executives of his company Next Digital, were charged on Wednesday on suspicion of concealing from and falsely representing the use of their office to their landlord, a public corporation set up by the Hong Kong government.
The charge stated they were not using the office space as permitted under the lease between 2016 to 2020, and had sub-let a part of the premises, resulting in benefits to Apple Daily.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach Lai or his lawyers for comment. Next Digital suspended trading on Thursday morning, pending an announcement containing “inside information.”
“This is about dirtying Jimmy up. It’s Beijing’s policing brought to Hong Kong,” Mark Simon, an associate of Lai, told Reuters.
An ardent critic of Beijing, Lai has been detained since Wednesday after reporting to the police for his arrest in August. Prosecutors applied to adjourn the case until April next year, according to local media.
In August, Lai was arrested after about 200 police officers swooped on his offices. Hong Kong police later said they had arrested nine men and one woman for suspected offenses including “collusion with a foreign country/external elements to endanger national security, conspiracy to defraud” and others.
Suspicion of colluding with foreign forces carries a maximum sentence of life in jail under the new security law.
Lai has been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he has met officials, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to rally support for Hong Kong democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a “traitor.”
The security law was introduced on June 30 and punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.