For the very first time , Twitter has issued a transparency report card that throws light on how frequent it’s been asked by government officials to delete tweets and hand over user information — and how frequently the social media site has complied to the removal requests.
Its inaugural Transparency Report, based on activities during the first half of this year, details government requests for user data, authorities’ efforts to have tweets removed and copyright takedown notices. The report suggests official’s are taking a more active interest in Twitter users’ activity.
Twitter’s legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel , “We’ve received more government requests in the first half of 2012 than total number of requests in 2011.”
Complaints concerning copyright infringement on Twitter have been on top. Between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, Twitter received 3,378 requests to remove copyrighted material, and complied 38 percent of the time. In total, 5,874 users or accounts were affected, and 5,275 tweets were deleted.
Twitter received 849 requests for user information from 23 countries and complied with 63 percent of those in full or in part. Nearly 80 percent of all requests for user information came from U.S. authorities, or 679 in total, affecting 948 accounts. By comparison, between July and December 2011, the most recent period for which data are available, Google fielded more than 18,257 user data requests from more than two dozen countries.
Indian government has stayed silent regarding tweets (as opposed to Google products : Google Transparency Report Shows Indian Government’s Ever Growing Desire To ‘Control’ The Web).
The Twitter transparency report will be released twice a year and was “inspired” by Google’s transparency report, said Kessel, who added the disclosure marks an effort to “hold governments accountable” and demonstrate for users how frequently Twitter complies with authorities’ requests.