India the Second Highest Requester for Content Takedown, Content Restriction on Facebook

27 Dec

By Mudit Mohilay, The Tech Portal

With an increase in Facebook’s influence over the world, government interference in the platform is also growing rapidly. India is no exception and the number of requests for content take-down and content restrictions has grown exponentially. Apparently, India was the second highest requester for content takedown and content restrictions in a six month period.

Apparently, India made as many as 6,324 requests for user data from Facebook in a six months period. This meant that the country was only behind the United States in the number of requests made. The country was also on the second spot for the number of content restriction requests as well — where it made a total of 2,034 requests during the January to June period this very year.

Facebook’s global policy head Monika Bickert told ET back in April,

We have changed our process. So now, before we restrict content in India for illegality, we require that the government submit legal process to us and we scrutinize that with our legal teams. We would not restrict the content if somebody in the community, somebody outside the government, flagged that content.

While US held the top spot for content take down requests, France occupied the top spot, making a total of 2,213  content restriction requests during the January to June period. These requests had to do with content that one government or other believed to be in violation of their own particular norms.

As per Chris Sonderby, deputy general counsel at Facebook,

Government requests for account data increased by 27% globally compared to the last half of 2015, increasing from 46,710 to 59,229 requests.

We scrutinize each request for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request, and challenge those that are deficient or overly broad. We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s information.

Well, of course the report does not count countries like China, which banned Facebook back in 2009.