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Google publishes IT Rules-mandated report on content removals in India

Out of a total of 27,762 user complaints received by Google, 96% of them were related to copyright issues. 

Google on Wednesday published its first monthly transparency report of content removal requests in India as required by the Information Technology (Intermediary Liability and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“In accordance with the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“IT Rules”), Google is publishing monthly transparency reports with details of complaints received from users in India and the actions taken thereon across Google’s platforms that are classified as “Significant Social Media Intermediaries” (“SSMIs”) under the Rules. This document is the first publication of the transparency report,” the company said in the report which covers April 2021, and covers YouTube as well.

To recap, Rule 4(d) of the Rules specify that Significant Social Media Intermediaries (who have more than 5 million users) must

publish periodic compliance report every month mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon, and the number of specific communication links or parts of information that the intermediary has removed or disabled access to in pursuance of any proactive monitoring conducted by using automated tools or any other relevant information as may be specified;

“To allow sufficient time for data processing and validation, there will be a two-month lag for reporting,” Google said, adding that it would include more granular data in subsequent reports.

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Most removals copyright-related

Most removal requests are copyright-related, according to the report. Note that the report does not include government requests, which are disclosed separately here at a lower frequency.

User complaints received by Google. Source: Google

  • Total Complaints: 27,762
  • Number of Actions Against Content: 59,350
    • Copyright: 58,391 (98.4%)
    • Trademark: 931 (1.6%)
    • Circumvention: 13 (0.0%)
    • Counterfeit: 7 (0.0%)
    • Defamation: 7 (0.0%)
    • Other Legal: 1 (0.0%)

Individual items removed by Google in response to user complaints. Source: Google

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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