Tech giants like Google and Twitter revealing transparency reports have become an industry norm. It becomes impertinent after knowing the close-knit between these companies and governments. Thanks to Edward Snowden!
Twitter first published its bi-annual Twitter Transparency Report on July 2, 2012 and it has recently revealed the H1 2013 from Jan to June report. For the first time Twitter in H1 2013 withheld 50% of some or all content which resulted in holding 3 tweets in India.
The report which was initially reported at Medianama, highlights government requests that Twitter received for account information, government requests received for content removal, and copyright notices (both take down notices and counter notices). The report also provides details on whether or not Twitter took action on these requests.
Detailing the report findings
The Information requests are worldwide government requests which Twitter receives for user account information, typically in connection with criminal investigations or cases. In total in H1 2013, Twitter received 1,157 user information requests compared to 1,009 requests in the last half of 2013. A total of 902 requests were made by US followed by Japan (87) and UK (26).
Indian government made less than 10 requests but there was no information produced by the 140 character network.
The Removal requests again include government requests (and other complaints of illegal content from authorized reporters) which Twitter received to remove or withhold content. From 40 removal requests in H2 2012 it has increased to 60 in H1 2013.
Russian Federation had 17 removal requests from Government agency or police or others. India had one removal request from court, one from administration such as Govt or police during H1 2013. In response Twitter withheld 50% of some or all content which resulted in holding 3 tweets.
The Copyright notices saw the biggest growth from 3268 in H2 2012 it spiked to 5753 H1 2013. These notices include the total number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down notices and counter notices received, along with data about the top three copyright reporters. The latest report saw a 76% increase in take downs received since last report.
In H1 2013, total of 5753 copyright take down notices received and 61 percent material was removed. The removed material involved – 22,399 users or accounts affected, 18,413 tweets removed and 3,993 media removed. March saw the maximum take down notices (1,348) followed by June (1,107).
Besides this in the same period Twitter received 6 DMCA counter notices and 100 percent of materials were restored. These were all media related counter notices.
Though Twitter has made it clear that the reports are as accurate as possible but the numbers may not be 100 percent accurate.