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Official removal requests doubled on Twitter between Jan-July ‘15


Between January 1st and June 30th 2015, Twitter did not withhold any tweets in India, the company revealed in its latest Transparency Report. In this period, the microblogging site received 2 court ordered removal requests and 31 removal requests from the police and various other government agencies. It complied with none of these requests.

It’s worth noting that in second half of 2014, the agency received only 14 removal requests from the police and various other government agencies and 1 court order. Similarly, not a single tweet was withheld in that time period, or in the six months preceding that.

User information requests: Twitter received 113 government requests for account information from India that specified 2,963 accounts between January-June 2015. Out of this, Twitter complied with 19% of the requests. The requests number is a significant increase from the 41 government requests that specified 1,938 user accounts the second half of 2014, of which the company had complied with 22% of the requests. Note that in the first 6 months of 2014, Twitter had received only 16 government requests that specified 44 user accounts.

Overall, for the first half of this year, Twitter received 4,363 information requests for 12,711 accounts and the company provided some information in 58% of the cases. The maximum requests originated from the US (2,436) followed by Japan (425) and Turkey (412).


Removal requests: A total of 442 court ordered removal requests were received by Twitter and 561 from various government agencies, police etc. Of this, Twitter withheld 42% of the content, a total of 2,354 tweets and 158 accounts. The maximum court ordered removal requests and removal request from other agencies originated from Turkey (408), followed by Brazil (17) and Japan (8).

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Rising India stats: In comparison to the second half of 2014, Twitter received a far greater number of under information requests and content removal requests in the first half of this year, a trend we noticed the last time as well. Note that Twitter mentions that it informs users in case of take down or request, unless prohibited by law.

A note on Google & Facebook: Google and Facebook have both failed to release transparency reports for what is blocked, requested to be blocked etc., for India. The last time Google reported removal requests made by the Government of India was for January to June 2014, while Facebook on the other hand only reports data for the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Copyright & trademark notices: Starting this time around, Twitter will also report trademark notices, DMCA takedown requests, and email privacy practices of various companies. The company mentions that it received a total of 14,694 DMCA takedown notices in the first half of 2015, of which it removed 67%, including 47,882 tweets and 19,181 media clips. Vine, on the other hand, received 2,405 takedown notices of which 68% were complied with, while Periscope received 1,391 takedown notices of which 71% were removed. Note that Periscope was acquired in March and its recorded statistics start in April.

As for trademark notices, Twitter received 12,911 notices of which 7% of the material was removed, affecting 938 accounts worldwide. The company’s email privacy report rates most popular email providers as secure, including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Windowslive and Rediffmail etc.

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