Twitter’s latest transparency report shows an alarming increase in the number of government requests for information, requests to remove content and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices between July and December 2014.
The number of requests for account information, including in criminal investigations, grew from 1410 in July to December 2013 to 2871 for the same period in 2014. Requests to remove comment increased from 377 to 796 in the same timeframe, while DMCA requests exploded from 6680 to 16,648.
Countries with large numbers of requests for information included Russia (108), the UK (116), Japan (288), Turkey (356) and the US (1622). Countries requesting information about a large number of accounts include Russia (108), Brazil (158), Japan (343), UK (371), Turkey (496), India (1938) and the US (3299).
Meanwhile, the country with the largest record for censoring tweets was Turkey, which accounted for 477 of the 796 requests to remove content globally.
By comparison, there were 10 requests for information from Australia, relating to 10 accounts, with some information produced in 50% of cases. This was up from five requests for information in six accounts a year earlier, with information produced in 20% of cases.
However, in a piece of good news for free speech in Australia, there were exactly zero Australian removal requests, with no content on Twitter withheld as a result of an Australian court or government agency.