Social Media

Twitter government information requests increased by 40% in the second half of 2014

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

February 9, 2015 | 3 min read

Twitter received 2,871 data requests from governments in the second half of 2014, the company has revealed in its biannual transparency report.

The social media firm oversaw 2,871 data requests from governments spanning 7,144 user accounts, a 40 per cent increase since the first half of 2014.

The US issued 1,622 account information requests with Twitter producing information in 80 per cent of cases. Turkey came second with 356 requests (none granted) and in third was Japan with 288 - 36 of which were granted.

Also published was the number of content removal requests the firm received. Turkey saw 1,820 tweets removed, with 62 accounts being suppressed. Brazil followed with 101 censored tweets and five blocked accounts, many of which related to the country’s October general election.

Copyright notices and DMCA takedown requests also jumped from just under 9,200 to 16,648 - an 81 per cent increase.

A Twitter statement read: “Providing this level of transparency is not without its complications and sometimes means we get tough questions and criticism about our decisions. However, this candid feedback helps us to be evermore thoughtful about our policies and decisions regarding content and compliance as we navigate complex, diverse legal regimes around the world.

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“The global community deserves this level of transparency from its governments and its service providers."

Last month the Turkish government threatened a countrywide Twitter ban if the firm did not block the account of a liberal newspaper.

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