Popular short-video app Douyin (also known as Tik Tok) created by ByteDance is going thorough clean up removing a total of 27,578 short videos, 9,415 audio files, 235 Douyin challenges, and permanently blocking 33,146 user accounts during just one month. The June clean-up progress was announced on its WeChat official account July 13.
Duoyin has been through some rough waters this year. In April, the app temporarily removed its live-stream and comment feature and underwent a “system upgrade” to improve its content screening and auditing process. Earlier this month, Douyin had to suspend its commercial operations as a penalty for insulting a war hero.
The platform landed itself in hot water abroad too. Last week, Douyin’s international version Tik Tok was banned by the Indonesian government following public outrage. Much like in China, Tik Tok was accused of being a bad influence on the youth. The ban was overturned two days later after Douyin agreed to censor “negative content.”
The negative press did not seem to affect Douyin’s popularity—quite the opposite. It became the world’s most popular non-game app in 2018 according to iOS download charts. As of June, Douyin has 150 million daily active users (DAU) on its platform, quadrupling since January. Douyin is operated by ByteDance’s news aggregation app Jinri Toutiao, one of China’s fastest-growing tech startups valued at over US$30 billion who is equally embroiled in the debacle.
According to the company’s announcement, accounts that violate the rights of minors will be severely punished and permanently removed. The company said it will report those in violation of laws to authorities.
“As a platform, Douyin feel the immense responsibility. We have always wanted to provide an active, pleasant, green, healthy content ecosystem environment for users. The company is determined to fight against vulgar and low-quality content.”
Douyin’s announcement included a list of account names that have violated company rules. According to Douyin, the accounts in violation fall under the following 8 categories: publishing and spreading vulgar and pornographic content, use of offensive language and insults, false information and rumors, spam ads, infringing copyright, violation of rules and laws, in violation of the rights of minors, publishing content that causes discomfort.