Turkey takes record for removal requests from Twitter
Turkey was the country with the greatest number of removal requests from Twitter in the first half of 2014, according to the social media site’s biannual transparency report released July 31.
Turkish courts or government agencies applied to Twitter a total of 183 times between Jan. 1 and June 30 with removal requests. Over 60 of them, Twitter says, were stated “violations of personal rights and defamation of both private citizens and government officials.”
Twitter complied to withhold some content in 30 percent of Turkey’s requests. Seventeen accounts and 183 tweets were withheld by Twitter, making Turkey the leader on both counts by a large margin.
Second-placed France applied 108 times with removal requests, with Twitter withholding 30 tweets, but no accounts.
In total, there were 2,058 requests in the first half of the year, marking a 46 percent increase over the second half of last year. The requests affected 48 percent more Twitter users than in the previous report.
“The continued rise may be attributed to Twitter’s ongoing international expansion, but also appears to follow the industry trend,” Twitter stated in its report. “As always, we continue to fight to provide notice to affected users when we’re not otherwise prohibited.”
Twitter withheld its first content in Turkey in March, soon after the Turkish government started to implement an access ban on its service.
Semi-official Anadolu Agency reported April 15 that Twitter officials accepted Turkey’s demand to act “more quickly and in a more sensitive manner” regarding rulings by Turkish courts.