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Not a single tweet withheld in India between Jan-June 2017: Twitter Transparency report

Between January 1 and June 30, 2017 Twitter didn’t withhold any tweets from India, the company revealed in its latest Transparency Report. In this period the microbogging site received 2 court ordered content removal requests and 102 other content removal requests from government agencies, police and other authorised agencies. While the number of accounts reported during this period were 341. However, Twitter didn’t even partially remove or withhold any content in this period. Twitter had also not withheld any tweets in the second half of last year (between July 1 and December 31, 2016).

In regards to India, Twitter mentioned:

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) sent a blocking order under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The request sought the removal of content from 60 users. While we suspended 16 accounts for violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, we asked for additional information regarding the remaining accounts. Generally, we do not take action on political speech protected under the UN-recognized principles of free expression.

User Information Requests: Twitter received 261 government requests for account information from India that specified 659 accounts between January-June 2017. Out of this, Twitter provided some information for 21% of the requests. The number of requests have increased significantly from the 168 government requests that specified 427 user accounts in the second half of 2016, of which the company had complied with 23% of the requests.

Overall, Twitter received 6448 information requests for 11115 accounts and provided some information in 60% of the cases. The maximum requests originated from United States (2111), followed by Japan (1384) and United Kingdom (606).

Removal Requests: A total of 752 court ordered removal requests were received by Twitter, along with 5334 removal requests from government agencies, police, etc. In this period Twitter withheld 1463 tweets. The maximum number of court ordered removal requests and removal request from other agencies originated from Turkey – 715 and 1995 respectively. Whereas, the most tweets withheld originated from Russia (566), followed by Turkey (497), France (164) and Germany (121).

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Copyright Notices

There was a 7% decline in the number of copyright-based takedown notices received by Twitter between January-June 2017. Twitter received a total of 33,641 takedown notices, and in 75% of the cases removed some material. Close to 90,000 accounts were affected by this, while 64,021 tweets and 113,804 media files were withheld.

On the other hand, Vine received 194 copyright takedown notices affecting 94 accounts in January 2017, of which in 53% cases some material was removed and 205 media files were withheld.

Finally, Periscope received 27,652 takedown notices, and in 72% of the cases removed some material. Over 19,000 accounts were affected by this, and 18,789 media files were withheld.

Trademark Notices

There was a 9% decline in the number of trademark notices received by Twitter in this period. The microblogging platform received 7,329 notices, which affected 1106 accounts worldwide. Trademark notices include reports of alleged Trademark Policy violations received for Twitter, Vine and Periscope.

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Twitter blocks Kashmir-related tweets

Earlier this month, Twitter had censored several Kashmir-related tweets and handles after an order by a Blocking Committee under the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY). A week earlier, the microblogging site had also blocked the handles of the Dera Sacha Sauda and its leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Twitter blocked his account following a request from the Haryana Police, a legal request made public by Twitter shows. While the text of the Haryana order hasn’t been made public by Twitter, the MeitY order and its accompanying list of handles and tweets are available on Lumen, an international database of copyright-related takedown requests — and more recently, government block orders — that Twitter has partnered with.

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