Twitter receives document variety of gov’t request to take away content material | Information

95 percent of inquiries in January-June 2021 came from five countries – Japan, Russia, Turkey, India and South Korea.

According to Twitter, governments made requests to remove content from a record number of accounts between January and June last year, with 95 percent of the requests coming from five countries.

According to data released by the social media company, 43,387 legal requests to remove content were made from 196,878 accounts over the six months.

Most inquiries came from Japan, followed by Russia, Turkey, India and South Korea. The site is blocked in several countries including China and North Korea.

“We face unprecedented challenges as governments around the world increasingly seek to step in and take down content,” Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president of global public policy and philanthropy, said in a statement.

“This threat to privacy and freedom of expression is a deeply worrying trend that requires our full attention.”

The company said it was also the largest number of government requests for removal in one reporting period since the social media platform started publishing transparency reports in 2012.

Twitter said it either “denied” access to content in certain countries or required account holders to remove some or all flagged content to meet 54 percent of global legal requests over the period.

Requests from Non-Governmental Organizations

Japan, Brazil and the United States were the three countries with the most requests when it came to non-government requests, with all three accounting for 89 percent of all requests and 87 percent of total accounts reported for the period.

These requests come from third parties requesting account information from Twitter, such as bystanders in a civil proceeding or on behalf of defendants in a criminal proceeding.

Our Twitter Transparency Center update underscores our longstanding commitment to meaningful transparency and the urgent need to defend the free, safe, and global open Internet.

— Sinéad McSweeney (@smcs) January 25, 2022

Major social media companies are under constant scrutiny by governments and regulators around the world for the material they allow on their platforms. Over the past year, Twitter has been embroiled in high-profile rows over content moderation and regulation with governments from India to Nigeria.

Twitter, along with companies like Facebook and Google, has been criticized in the US and abroad for fighting issues like misinformation and violent rhetoric on its platform.

According to Twitter data, the number of accounts specified in the legal requests increased by almost 50 percent from 131,933 accounts in the previous six months.

The number of government removal requests increased 14 percent from 38,524 in the last reporting period, July through December 2020, and about 2.8 percent year-on-year, according to Twitter.

The company said in July 2021 it had seen a surge in government requests worldwide in 2020 to remove content posted by journalists and news outlets, but it said the number of such accounts subject to those requests was up 14 percent in the most recent reporting period declined.

The report also said government requests for Twitter to retain account information fell by about 4 percent compared to the previous reporting period. The US accounts for about 57 percent of those inquiries, and the country is also the largest single source of government inquiries.

Government agencies require Twitter to retain account information to temporarily store information related to an investigation. These requests give authorities the time they need to complete the applicable legal process, such as B. to obtain a search warrant, which is necessary to lawfully obtain this stored information.

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