Official Requests to Remove Posts on Twitter Rise in First Half of Year

image source:

Twitter has revealed that for the first six months of the year, they noticed a spike in the official requests for removal of posts that were submitted. The number for removal requests rose by up to 13 percent, and the company says that the countries which submitted the most requests were Turkey and Russia. A transparency report showed that the two countries have also been the perennial leaders in asking Twitter to remove some content from the network.

Twitter noted that the requests was usually for content which the governments deemed as illegal in the countries. The report however did not indicate whether terrorist related requests of takedown had also been factored into the new report. Overall, Twitter said that they received 4,434 requests of takedown during the first half of the year, mostly from police agencies and governments in the first half of the year. The report also put to light about 761 court orders which the social media network received.

The requests are said to have been targeting about 20,600 accounts and there had been no action taken on 15,195 pf the accounts. Turkey officials made 2,493 of the requests while Russia had made 1,601 of the requests. The United States also came in with 98 requests, but only one had been granted. The requests are said to have come from 37 countries.

The United States is said to be the leader when it comes to government requests for account information. 2,520 requests were made by the US and they got an 82 percent response from the company. The report noted that because of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, the majority of the information requests that the company received were mostly from the US government.

The top requesters in the country for information included the FBI, the Secret Service and the New York’s District Attorney’s Office. Japan came second when it came to Information requests tabling in 732 requests. Britain, France and Turkey rounded up the top five list for information requests and the total amount of information requests from all countries was said to be 5,676.

Twitter also said that there had been a rise in the number of requests from Belgium, and that was likely because of the rise in the number of extremist attacks the last year.

image source:

Recently, Twitter was criticized by the chief of the US National Security Agency who said that social media network was not allowing the agencies to get information that would help in thwarting violent attacks before they happened. Speaking at a Congressional hearing, NSA director, Admiral Michael Rogers said the criticism as he responded to Senator John McCain’s own criticism of Twitter for not allowing access to an analytics service called Dataminr.

Twitter says the data is available for all as long as it is not used for surveillance. In a statement, the company said that they had not allowed any intelligence agency or the government access to the information available on Dataminr, because of privacy concerns.