Turkey ranks 3rd highest in Twitter content removal requests, says company

According to the latest data released by social media giant Twitter about government requests to remove content from the platform, Turkey ranks 3rd highest in terms of requests, eclipsed only by Japan and Russia.

Duvar English

Data released by Twitter on the number of government requests to remove content from January through June of 2021 shows that Turkey had the third-highest number of removal requests, eclipsed only by Russia and Japan. The data did not include countries where Twitter is not accessible, such as China and North Korea, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle's Turkish service.

The company further announced that over 95% of removal requests came from just five countries - Japan, Russia, Turkey, India, and South Korea. In total, governments submitted 43,387 requests to remove content from 196,878 accounts, the highest number since the company began releasing transparency data in 2012.

Twitter blocked access to content or asked users to remove content partially or completely.

This data is “extremely alarming” according to Sinead McSweeney, Twitter's vice president of global public policy. 

"At this time of increasing attempts by governments to tamper with and remove content around the world, we are receiving an unprecedented number of requests," she said. She further described this trend as  a “threat to privacy and freedom of expression.”

The latest data showed a 50% increase in the number of accounts reported from the previous reporting period. In the last six months of 2020, governments requested the removal of content from 131,933 accounts. The number of posts reported totaled 38,524, 14% less content than the number reported in the latest data. 

The United States ranked highest in terms of requests for user data. 3,026 requests for user data from the US constituted 26% of total requests. Twitter only released user data in 64% of cases.