According to data released by Twitter, the social media platform saw a surge in government demands worldwide in 2020 to take down content posted by journalists and news outlets. Legal demands to censor content from verified journalists and outlets grew by 26 percent in the second half of the year.
Reuters reports that according to a recent transparency report from Twitter, the social media website saw a surge in demands by governments worldwide to censor content from news outlets and reporters in 2020. Twitter said in its report that 199 verified accounts of journalists and news outlets on its platform faced 361 legal demands from governments to remove content in the second half of 2020, an increase of 26 percent from the first half of the year.
The biannual transparency report on Twitter’s enforcement of policy rules and the information and removal requests it receives comes as social media companies including Facebook and Google’s YouTube face scrutiny worldwide over the content allowed on their platforms.
According to Twitter’s report, it ultimately removed five tweets from journalists and news publishers. India submitted most of the removal requests, followed by Turkey, Pakistan, and Russia. India topped the list for information requests by governments in the second half of 2020, overtaking the United States for the first time.
Twitter said it globally received over 14,500 requests for information from July 1 to December 31 2020, and it produced some or all of the information in response to around 30 percent of the requests. These requests can include governments or other entities asking Twitter to reveal the identities of people tweeting under pseudonyms.
Twitter also received more than 38,500 legal demands to remove various content, a decrease of 9 percent from the first half of 2020. It complied with 29 percent of these demands. Twitter also noted in the report that its technology is proactively identifying more than 65 percent of abusive content for human review, rather than relying on reports submitted by Twitter users.