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Twitter Withheld 13 Tweets In India Between July – December 2013

Twitter LogoBetween July and December 2013, Twitter received 2 removal requests through court orders and 6 removal requests from government or police authorities that specified 54 user accounts and it complied with 13% of these requests, the company has revealed as a part of its Transparency report. Do note that in the first half of 2013, Twitter received one removal requests each from court and government agency and three tweets were withheld.

Twitter also says that it received a court order directing it to remove defamatory content about a manufacturer in India in the second half of 2013.

User Information requests: A total of 19 information requests were made in the second half of 2013 for 27 accounts, out of which information was provided in 32% of the cases. In the same time last year, less than 10 requests were made but information was not disclosed in any of those cases.

Internationally, Twitter received 1,410 requests for 2,121 accounts out of which, some information was produced in 50% of the cases. The United States continues to make the most requests, making up 59% of all requests, followed by Japan with 15% and France & United Kingdom with 4% each. These requests are up from 1,157 in the first half of 2013 and 1,009 in the second half of 2012.


Removal requests: Twitter says that it had withheld 13 tweets between July and December 2013, up from 3 tweets in January – June 2013.

Internationally, the number of removal requests Twitter got shot up to 365 in the second half of 2013, from 60 in the first half of 2013. Out of these, 352 were from government agencies and police while only 13 were court orders. 317 Twitter accounts were involved in these requests, on the basis of which 191 tweets were removed and 3 accounts withheld. In 11% of these cases some content was withheld. Majority of these requests originated from France, followed by Russia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.

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Copyright notices

The number of takedown copyright-based requests has increased by 16% to 6,680 in the second half of 2013, up from 5,753 in the first half of 2013 and 3,268 in the second half of 2012. A total of 12,243 accounts were affected by these takedown requests and 26,506 tweets were removed. 5,847 media files were also removed as part of these DMCA requests. In ten instances a copyright counter notice was sent based on which materials were restored. Ten media files in two tweets were affected because of these.

Rising India stats

The number of requests from India has increased a lot in percentage terms but it’s still small compared to the takedown requests Google received. However, Twitter is becoming more influential for political debate and with elections just around the corner, these numbers are bound to go up. While Twitter says that it alerts users in case of copyright takedown, it is not clear what a user can do if a tweet is taken down for other reasons. There was this incident when a cartoon was taken off from Twitter without any warning. The tweet was restored later, but no information was released as to why it disappeared for a day.


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