India tops global list in making requests to block tweets of journalists: Twitter report

According to Twitter, the US (34%) and India (51%) together accounted for 85% of all global preservation requests.


Published Jul 29, 2022 | 7:49 PMUpdatedJul 29, 2022 | 7:50 PM

India tops global list in making requests to block tweets of journalists: Twitter report

India made the highest number of demands to block tweets posted from verified handles of journalists and news companies between July and December in 2021, said Twitter in its latest transparency report.

The microblogging platform said in the report said that India, in the specified period, made 114 demands to block tweets made by verified journalists and news companies.

According to Twitter, India was only behind the US in seeking information on Twitter accounts, and among the top five countries to issue content-blocking orders to Twitter in the six-month period.

Journalistic contents blocked

As per Twitter, 349 accounts of verified journalists and news outlets from across the globe were subject to 326 legal demands for content removal.

This, it said, was a 103 percent increase in the number of such accounts targeted in the previous period: from January to June 2021.

“The increase is largely attributed to India (114), Turkey (78), Russia (55), and Pakistan (48),” the Twitter transparency report said.

According to Twitter, India topped the list by making 89 of the total 231 legal demands to remove content during the period between January to June 2021.

Twitter said legal demands may include a combination of court orders and other formal demands to remove content produced by both individuals and government entities.

It added that it had received a legal demand from India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to remove content relating to privacy issues involving a minor.

Without naming former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Twitter also said, “The reported tweet published by a high-ranking political figure was withheld in India in compliance with the Indian law.”

Information requests from government

India submitted the second-highest number of government information requests during this reporting period, accounting for 19 percent of the global volume and 27 percent of global accounts.

According to the report, the US topped the list with 20 percent of global information requests and 39 percent of global accounts.

“Twitter received 63 (+3 percent) more routine requests from India, while the number of routine accounts specified increased by 205 (+3 percent) during this reporting period for a total of 2,211 requests for 7,768 accounts,” the report said.

Globally, Twitter received 11,460 requests.

Twitter said India made a total of 3,992, or 8 percent, of the 47,572 worldwide legal-demand requests to remove content from its platform during July-December 2021. These included 23 court orders and 3,969 other legal demands.

During this period, Twitter withheld a total of 88 accounts and 303 tweets in India.

According to Twitter guidelines, “government information requests” include both emergency and routine legal demands for account information issued by law enforcement and other government agencies.

“Japan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, and India topped in requesting countries for legal demands over the past three years. 97 percent of the total global volume originated from these five countries,” said Twitter.

According to the microblogging platform’s report, preservation requests increased by 10 percent and accounts specified increased by 19 percent between June and December 2021.

Twitter claimed that 85 percent of global requests came from the US (34 percent) and India (51 percent) together.

According to the data shared by the Central government in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act ordered Twitter to block 2,851 URLs in 2021 and 1,122 till June this year.