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Facebook’s India content take downs triples in first half of 2015


Content restrictions by Facebook in India has seen a huge surge. The social network in its government requests report said that it placed restrictions on 15,155 pieces of content in the first half of 2015 compared to 5,832  pieces in the second half of 2014, an increase of 159.86%.

“We restricted access in India to content reported primarily by law enforcement agencies and the India Computer Emergency Response Team within the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology because it was anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India,” Facebook said in the report.

Earlier in July, in two separate incidents, eight persons in Uttar Pradesh were arrested over posting “objectionable content” on social networking website Facebook last week. The charges on the persons were mostly sections of the Indian Penal Code which deal with hate speech.

In March, a class XI student was arrested in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh and sent to 14 days of judicial remand, after Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan’s media in-charge Fasahat Ali Khan filed a complaint with the police claiming that the student posted an offensive message about a particular community on Facebook. More on the cases here and here.

Requests for data

Total requests for data from India stood at 5,115 in the first half of 2015 compared to 5473 in the second half of 2014, a decrease of 6.54%. While requests for account information stood at 6,268 compared to 7,281, a decrease of 13.91%. The percentage of requests where Facebook produced some data was 45.32% in the first half of 2015. The number stood at 44.69% in the second half of 2014.

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The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 112% over the second half of 2014, to 20,568 pieces of content, up from 9,707. India and Turkey lead the number of content restrictions.

While government requests for account data increased across all countries by 18% over the same period, from 35,051 requests to 41,214. The bulk of government requests came from US law enforcement agencies. US agencies requested data from 26,579 accounts which comprised more than 60% of requests globally .

Image source: Flickr user mkhmarketing

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