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. Requests regarding the removal of content that may violate our terms of service are generally not included below.
January 1 - June 30, 2015
|Country||Removal requests (Court Orders)||Removal requests (Gov’t agency, police, other)||Percentage where some content withheld||Accounts specified||Accounts withheld||Tweets withheld|
|United Arab Emirates||-||-||-||-||-||-|
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.
About the numbers
We have received 26% more removal requests impacting 11% more accounts since the previous reporting period. The majority of these requests came from Turkey (718) and Russia (68), resulting in the collective withholding of 147 accounts and 1,723 Tweets for these countries alone.
Overall, for this reporting period, 158 accounts and 2,354 Tweets were withheld in various countries around the world.
The data includes all instances where we employed our Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool. Over the last six months of 2015, we continued to see an increase in the number of demands to remove content, including requests from three new countries (none of which resulted in any withholdings): Iraq, Malaysia, and Mongolia. Since our first report was published in 2012, we have used CWC in nine countries: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
We received 17 court orders related to defamation. Several orders are currently under further judicial review based on our objection.
We received two court orders about defamation and 12 requests from Jugendschutz regarding prohibited symbols and illegal discriminatory content.
We received a combined 718 court orders and other requests from Turkish authorities directing Twitter to remove content based on violations of personal rights and other local laws. We filed legal objections with Turkish courts in response to 60% of Turkish orders received. Our objections prevailed 5% of the time.
We received six requests from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). We denied all requests to limit speech about territorial conflicts involving Pakistan.
We received 68 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 and Federal Law 398.
The data also includes instances where we have un-withheld content (marked with an asterisk ‘*’). Typically content is un-withheld when an appeal of a court order regarding particular content results in the original decision being overturned. During this reporting period, we un-withheld content in Brazil and Turkey.
We un-withheld 1 account previously subject to an injunction for being offensive to a public figure in Brazil.
We un-withheld 8 accounts and 20 Tweets, typically following the acceptance of objections that Twitter filed in the Turkish courts.
- ‘Percentage where some content withheld’ does not include situations where a user decided to remove the content at issue him/herself or requests identified as Terms of Service violations.
- 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 or all aspects of a request for a variety of reasons. For example, we do not comply with requests that fail to identify content on Twitter. We carefully evaluate all requests, particularly any requests to remove journalists’ accounts or Tweets.