Removal requests

Removal requests include government requests (and other complaints of illegal content from authorized reporters) we’ve received to remove or withhold content on Twitter.

Governments generally make removal requests for content that may be illegal in theirs 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.

Latest report: Removal requests

July 1 - December 31, 2013

CountryRemoval requests - Court OrdersRemoval requests - Gov’t agency, police, otherPercentage where some content withheldAccounts specifiedAccounts withheldTweets withheld
Australia - - - - - -
Brazil 11 1 33% 50 2 26
Canada - - - - - -
Ecuador - - - - - -
France 3 306 35% 146 0 133
Germany 1 1 0% < 10 0 0
Greece 0 2 0 < 10 0 0
Hong Kong 0 1 0% < 10 0 0
India 2 6 13% 54 0 13
Indonesia - - - - - -
Ireland 0 1 0% < 10 0 0
Italy 0 1 0% < 10 0 0
1 1 50% < 10 0 10
Kuwait 0 2 0% < 10 0 0
Mexico 0 1 0% < 10 0 0
Netherlands - - - - - -
Pakistan - - - - - -
Russia 0 14 64% 14 1 9
South Korea - - - - - -
Spain - - - - - -
Turkey 2 0 0% < 10 0 0
United Arab Emirates 1 1 0% < 10 0 0
United Kingdom 1 8 0% < 10 0 0
United States 2 6 0% 11 0 0
Venezuela 0 1 0% 13 0 0
TOTAL 24 353 11% 317 3 191

NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive.

About the numbers

We’ve received more than five times as many content removal requests than in the prior reporting period. The majority of these requests originated from France, followed by Russia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. 

Withheld content

The data includes all instances where we employed our Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool. Over the last six months, we have continued to see an increase in the number of requests received and number of withholdings, including requests from six new countries (none of which resulted in any removals): China, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. We did, however, withhold content in five repeat countries: Brazil, France, India, Japan, and Russia.  

Recent examples:

Brazil

We received three court orders directing Twitter to remove defamatory content in Brazil.

France

We received over three hundred requests from a national advocacy association regarding illegal discriminatory content in France.

India

We received a court order directing Twitter to remove defamatory content about a manufacturer in India.

Japan

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

Russia

We received fourteen 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.

Footnotes

  • ‘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.
  • To minimize potential risk to our users, we’re not including specific numbers if fewer than 10 accounts are specified and we’ve not withheld any content in response to the particular request; instead you’ll see ‘< 10’ in the relevant cells.
  • Where permitted, Twitter has published copies of the removal requests which have resulted in withheld content to Chilling Effects.
  • 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.