India single largest source of govt information requests, says Twitter

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], July 15 (ANI): India is the single largest source of government information requests during the second half of 2020, accounting for 25 per cent of the global volume, as per the Twitter Transparency Report released on Wednesday.

India accounted for 25 per cent of the global volume of requests and 15 per cent of the global accounts involved, during the July-December 2020 period.

During this period, Twitter received 38,524 legal demands to remove content specifying 131,933 accounts. Responding to these demands, Twitter withheld or otherwise removed some or all of the reported content in response to 29 per cent of these global legal demands.

"Over the past year, we have experienced and continue to navigate severe global challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic. We have also seen concerted attempts by governments to limit access to the Internet generally and to Twitter specifically," the company said in a blog.

For the June-December period, the compliance rate for government information requests was 30 per cent globally. The second highest volume of information requests originated from the United States, comprising 22 per cent of global information requests.

The United States submitted the highest volume of global emergency requests (34 per cent), followed by Japan (17 per cent), and South Korea (16 per cent).

Also, 94 per cent of the total global volume of legal demands originated from only five countries -- Japan, India, Russia, Turkey, and South Korea.

Twitter also said that accounts of 199 verified journalists and news outlets from around the world were subject to 361 legal demands, which is a 26 per cent increase from the January-June period.

The company noted that while the total number of legal demands dropped by 9 per cent compared to the last reporting period, the requests received during July-December sought content removal from "the largest number of accounts ever in a single reporting period".

Recently, Twitter named Vinay Prakash as the Resident Grievance Officer for India.

For the past several months, Twitter has been involved in a stand-off with the Indian government over the new amendments in the country's new Information Technology laws with the micro-blogging platform losing its intermediary status and becoming liable for user-generated content.

According to amended IT rules, social media and streaming companies will be required to take down contentious content quicker and appoint grievance redressal officers based in the country to deal with online content flagged by authorities and courts and assist in investigations. (ANI)

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