Modi Govt made 355 requests to Twitter to remove accounts in 6 months

The Indian government made information requests for 355 Twitter accounts in the January-June 2018 period while law enforcement agencies asked the micro-blogging platform to remove 237 accounts

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IANS

The Indian government made information requests for 355 Twitter accounts in the January-June 2018 period while law enforcement agencies in the country asked the micro-blogging platform to remove 237 accounts for violating the law of the land.

According to Twitter's 13th biannual Transparency Report, the company provided some information to the Indian government in 11% of cases.

"Twitter withheld two accounts and 23 Tweets in response to a legal demand from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) under Section 69A of the India Information Technology Act, 2000, for propagating objectionable content," the company said in the report late on Thursday, December 13.

When it comes to legal requests (including 9 requests in the form of court order) from India, 19 accounts and 498 Tweets were withheld as per the rules.

In total, Twitter met the legal demands to withhold some content from India in 5% of the cases.

"Governments (including law enforcement agencies), organisations chartered to combat discrimination, and lawyers representing individuals are among the many complainants that submit legal requests," said Twitter.

In July-December 2017, the Indian government made information requests for 315 Twitter accounts and law enforcement agencies had asked the social network to remove 144 accounts.

The average number of reports it received through reporting flow continued to drop -- from an average of approximately 868,349 in January to approximately 504,259 in June

Globally, Twitter received 10% more government information requests (combined emergency disclosure requests and non-emergency requests), which is the largest percentage increase since its July-December 2015 report.

"The latest report shows that Twitter received approximately 80% more global legal demands, impacting more than twice as many accounts compared to the previous reporting period.

"Similar to the last reporting period, roughly 87% of the total global volume originated from only two countries: Russia and Turkey," Twitter said.

For the first time, Twitter published metrics pertaining to its actions to fight spam and other malicious forms of automation.

"We challenge millions of potentially spam accounts every month, requesting additional details, like email address and phone numbers to authenticate them. From January to June, 2018, approximately 75% of accounts challenged ultimately did not pass those challenges and were suspended," informed the company.

The average number of reports it received through reporting flow continued to drop -- from an average of approximately 868,349 in January to approximately 504,259 in June.

"These report decreases indicate the effectiveness of our proprietary built technology in proactively identifying and challenging accounts at source and at scale," said Twitter.

In the same period, Twitter suspended 487,363 accounts for violations related to child sexual exploitation.

Nearly 97% of these accounts were proactively flagged by a combination of technology, including PhotoDNA, and other purpose-built internal proprietary tools.

Twitter also suspended a total of 205,156 accounts flagged for promoting terrorism. Of those suspensions, 91% consisted of accounts that were proactively flagged by internal, proprietary tools.

"The number of reports we received from governments of terrorist content decreased by 77% compared to the previous reporting period," said Twitter.

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