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Removal requests

Removal requests include government requests (and other complaints for removal of content from authorized reporters) we have received to remove or withhold content on Twitter.

Governments generally make removal requests for content that may be illegal in their respective jurisdictions. For example, we may receive a court order requiring the removal of defamatory statements, or law enforcement may ask us to remove prohibited content.

Removal requests

January 1 - June 30, 2013

CountryRemoval requests (Court Orders)Removal requests (Gov’t agency, police, other)Percentage where some content withheldAccounts specifiedAccounts withheldTweets withheld
South Korea010%100
United Kingdom110%200
United States200%1100
NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive. It may be necessary to side-scroll to see all the table columns depending on the screen resolution.

Withheld content

This data includes all instances where we employed our Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool. Over the last six months, we have seen an increase in the number of requests received and number of withholdings, including the withholding of content in five new countries: Brazil, India, Japan, the Netherlands, and Russia. 

Un-Withheld Content

For the first time, this data also includes instances where we have un-withheld content. As previously noted, our policy is to notify users of requests to withhold their content unless we’re prohibited by law. It is also our policy to restore access to content whenever we’re not legally prohibited from doing so. More information about the first time we have un-withheld content is available below.

Recent examples:


We received a court order directing Twitter to remove a defamatory account in Brazil.


We received an additional request from the legal representative of a national student group requesting the removal of illegal hate speech content in France.


We received a request from German law enforcement to remove an account based on its association with a banned neo-Nazi organization in Germany.


We received a court order directing Twitter to remove several defamatory Tweets in Japan.


We received seventeen requests from the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) regarding content determined to violate Federal Law 139. Thirteen accounts were found to have promoted drug use or suicide.

For the first time since launching CWC, we *un-withheld two previously withheld accounts. We worked with the affected Twitter users and Roskomnadzor to ensure that accounts brought into compliance with local law by the users were un-withheld and reinstated in Russia.


  • ‘Percentage where some content withheld’ does not include removal requests, copyright-related complaints, or court orders that resulted in account suspensions for violating the Twitter Rules.
  • Each request may identify multiple items to be removed. For example, a single request may ask us to remove individual Tweets or an entire user account.
  • ‘Accounts specified’ includes the number of accounts identified in the government requests we’ve received.
  • Where permitted, Twitter has published copies of the removal requests which have resulted in withheld content to Lumen.
  • We may not comply with every request for a variety of reasons. For example, we do not comply with requests that fail to identify content on Twitter.