New Facebook requests report shows which countries censor content

By on April 11, 2014, 5:15 PM
facebook, germany, india, france, censor, global government requests report

Facebook has now released its Global Government Requests Report where we get a chance to see the numbers on data requests among other things. Although the second one of its kind, it will be the first transparency report to include data on which countries had content censored from the site.

India sits at the top of this list having 4,765 pieces of content restricted from its more than 100 million Facebook users between July and December 2013. Facebook said it "restricted access in India to a number of pieces of content reported primarily by law enforcement officials and the India Computer Emergency Response Team under local laws prohibiting criticism of a religion or the state."

Turkey requested the second most content restrictions with 2014, followed by Pakistan with 162 requests. Further down the list there are a few interesting entries like France and Germany both with more than 80 content restrictions during the above mentioned time period.

Facebook said it "only restricts access to content in the requesting country," and that it will not remove anything from the "service entirely" unless it determines that it violates community standards.

When it comes to government data requests from Facebook, the US once again sits clearly at the top of the list with 12,598 requests regarding 18,715 user accounts. Next was India who requested data 3,598 times on 4,711 users. The main difference here is that Facebook was much more resilient with how many times it actually handed over the requested data to India. The US was given everything it asked for slightly more than 81% of the time, compared to 53.56% of the time with India.

When Facebook does not comply with requests, it said it's because they "are overly broad, vague or do not comply with legal standards," at which point it pushes back, usually only offering basic information like a name and IP address. While it may be hard for some to believe, Facebook insists it is focused on privacy and still isn't happy with US government surveillance scandals that have been reported on as of late.

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