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Meta’s GAC Orders in India More Than Double in January 2024: Transparency Reports

Meta’s transparency report reveals a sharp rise in GAC orders from India in January 2024, exceeding the overall monthly GAC orders sent in the previous month

Meta’s transparency report, which includes data related to Facebook and Instagram, reported the receipt of 75 Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) orders from India in January 2024. With this, Meta accounts for more than double the total number of GAC orders reported in December 2023. The details regarding these orders remain shrouded in mystery, although a separate transparency report by Google provides some idea about the GAC procedure.

Overall, MediaNama went through the transparency reports of four big tech companies to understand the trends in user grievances received by social media platforms at the beginning of 2024.

Highlights of January’s transparency reports from platforms

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

79 GAC orders issued in January: Meta (Facebook and Instagram) reported 75 GAC orders, and WhatsApp also reported 4 GAC orders. While Google did not report any GAC orders for January 2024, it reported having received at least 6 GAC orders between March and September 2023. The company also provided a service-wise breakdown of the orders, which you can read about here.

Suicide and self-injury cases persist for Meta platforms: Instagram and Facebook together accounted for 3.3 million self-harm-related incidents in January, the same as the previous two months. Facebook reported 1.6 million such cases, while Instagram reported 1.7 million cases. Twitter reported 5 grievances regarding the promotion of suicide or self-harm in its latest report but took no action against any.

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

Twitter shows growing trend of child sexual content: Twitter received 22 child sexual exploitation complaints, nearly double that of December, and took action against 41 URLs. Facebook reported 33.1 thousand pieces of content related to child nudity and physical abuse and 324 thousand pieces related to child sexual exploitation. Instagram reported 198.6 thousand incidents of child sexual exploitation and 10.1 thousand incidents of child nudity and physical abuse.

Twitter takes action on ban evasion: Twitter suspended 31 accounts after receiving 40 grievances for the same and overturning one complaint. It also took action against 4,411 URLs in January, including 2,357 URLs for ban evasion. Facebook took action against 21,060 reports and then an additional 4,632 reports after special review. Instagram took action against 9,476 reports and then an additional 4,849 reports after special review. WhatsApp banned 6,728,000 accounts. Google took 63,975 removal actions based on user complaints.

Twitter shows monthly growth in number of user complaints: Twitter reported 2,525 complaints in January compared to 2,422 complaints in December. The highest number of complaints were regarding abuse and harassment. Google reported 24,308 complaints with 21,671 copyright grievances. WhatsApp received 14,828 grievances, of which 9,024 complaints appealed for account bans. Facebook and Instagram received 29,548 reports and 19,311 reports respectively.

Note: The number of GAC orders issued was corrected from “57” to “79” orders in the sub-heading after editorial inputs at 11 AM on April 1, 2024.

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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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