India was the single largest source in terms of government requests for account information received by Twitter, accounting for 25 percent of the global volume, in the July-December 2020 period, the microblogging platform said on Wednesday. The country also ranked second in the number of legal demands for content removal after Japan, according to Twitter’s new transparency report.
Twitter brings out with a biannual report where it shares details on the number of government and legal requests, removal requests, and data around accounts actioned for various violations and breaches of rules. In its latest blog, Twitter said it produced some or all of the requested information in response to 30 percent of the global information requests by governments in the July-December 2020 period.
“India is the single largest source of government information requests, accounting for 25 percent of the global volume and 15 percent of the global accounts specified. The second highest volume of information requests originated from the US, comprising 22 percent of global information requests, it added. Twitter said the US submitted the highest volume of global emergency requests (34 percent), followed by Japan (17 percent), and South Korea (16 percent).
During the reporting period (July-December 2020), Twitter received 38,524 legal demands to remove content specifying 1,31,933 accounts. The platform withheld or otherwise removed some or all of the reported content in response to 29 percent of these global legal demands. “Although there was a 9 percent decrease in the number of legal demands Twitter received, compared to the previous reporting period, these requests sought removal of content from the largest number of accounts ever in a single reporting period, Twitter added.
About 94 percent of the total global volume of legal demands originated from only five countries (in decreasing order) – Japan, India, Russia, Turkey, and South Korea. The US-based company said accounts of 199 verified journalists and news outlets from around the world were subject to 361 legal demands – a 26 percent increase in these requests since the previous reporting period. It is pertinent to mention here that Twitter had come under fire over its failure to comply with the IT rules in India, despite repeated reminders from the Government. Twitter — which has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India — lost its legal shield as an intermediary in the country, becoming liable for any unlawful content posted by its users.
Twitter recently appointed a Resident Grievance Officer, days after it designated a Chief Compliance Officer, and also released its first India Transparency Report on Sunday to comply with the new IT rules. In its blog on Wednesday, Twitter said impressions on violative tweets accounted for less than 0.1 percent of all impressions for all tweets globally from July-December 2020. The impressions metric captures the number of views a violative tweet received prior to removal. During this time, Twitter removed 3.8 million tweets that violated its rules. About 77 percent of these received fewer than 100 impressions prior to removal, 17 percent had received between 100 and 1,000 impressions and 6 percent of the removed tweets had more than 1,000 impressions. “Our goal is to improve these numbers over time, taking enforcement action on violative content before it’s even viewed,” Twitter said.