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31 GAC orders sent to social media platforms in December

Meta took the lion’s share of the GAC orders, as per its transparency report for December. When it comes to user grievances, Facebook and Instagram together accounted for 3.4 million self-harm related incidents, same as November.

Meta platforms (Facebook and Instagram) received 27 orders from the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) of India in December 2023, whereas WhatsApp received only 4 such orders. With this, Meta has already received more than the total number of GAC orders received in November 2023. As usual, all platforms have stated compliance with government orders. However, the nature of these complaints remains unclear. MediaNama has sent queries regarding these orders to the government and is awaiting a response.

Aside from Meta and WhatsApp, MediaNama also looked at other social media transparency reports to report other trends in user grievances.

Highlights of November’s transparency reports from platforms

These are the following trends of user grievances between December 1 and December 31 after looking at transparency reports from Meta, WhatsApp, Google and Twitter (November 26 to December 25):

  • Suicide and self-injury cases still an issue for Meta: Instagram and Facebook together accounted for around 3.4 million self-harm related incidents in December, the same as November. Facebook reported 1.7 million such cases while Instagram reported 1.7 million cases. Twitter reported 2 grievances regarding promotion of suicide or self-harm in its latest report and took action on 4 URLs.

For those seeking help in troubled times, NGOs like AASRA offer a 24×7 helpline number, 91-9820466726 in both English and Hindi. Another helpline available is 915298782.

  • More child abuse cases compared to October: Facebook reported 149.8 thousand child sexual exploitation content pieces in December, a drastic decrease from the 482.9 thousand instances reported in November. Further, it reported 120.7 thousand content pieces of child nudity and physical abuse. Instagram reported 290.8 thousand child sexual exploitation incidents and 8.9 thousand child nudity and physical abuse incidents. Twitter received 12 child sexual exploitation complaints, double that of November and took action against 4 URLs related to this issue.
  • Meta platforms ramp up action based on user complaints: Facebook took action against 33,072 reports and then another 6,578 reports after special review. Instagram took action against 9,555 reports and then another 6,028 reported after special review. WhatsApp banned 6,934,000 accounts, while Google took 65,261 removal actions based on user complaints. Twitter suspended 16 accounts after receiving 171 grievances for the same and overturning one complaint. It also actioned against 1,931 URLs in December.
  • Huge jump in monthly complaints for Twitter: Twitter reported 2,422 complaints in December, more than double of November’s number which was 1,062 reports, largely because of high number of grievances related to abuse and hateful conduct. Google reported 21,743 complaints with 19,847 copyright grievances. WhatsApp received 16,366 grievances, of which 9,547 complaints appealed for account bans. Facebook and Instagram received 44,332 reports and 19,750 reports respectively.

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Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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