Turkey had highest request for content removal on Twitter

Twitter announced in its latest transparency report that Turkey has been the most active country in demanding the removal of Twitter content over the last six months of 2018, according to a news report by BBC Turkish.

In its 14th biannual transparency report published on May 9, Twitter said that 74 percent of the legal requests to remove Twitter content originated from Turkey and Russia between July 1 and December 31, 2018.

According to the report, Turkey had 9,155 Twitter content removal demands with 597 court orders and 4,417 other legal requests during that time period.

“We filed 127 legal objections with Turkish courts in response to 597 court orders on the grounds that these orders did not comply with the principles of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and/or did not specify the content at issue,” Twitter said, referring to Turkey’s content removal requests. “Two of these 127 objections were accepted, and one was partially accepted,” the company added.

Turkey has been sending the highest number of content removal requests to Twitter since 2014, followed by Russia with 3,344 requests, 46 percent of which were removed from Twitter.

The social media company accepted only four percent of Turkey’s content removal demands, suspending 72 accounts and deleting 355 tweets.

“We received legal demands relating to 27,283 accounts from 47 different countries, including Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, and Slovenia for the first time,” Twitter stated.

Turkey also ranked 7th among all countries on Twitter that demanded information on Twitter accounts, with a total of 512 information requests. The company announced that it has never responded to that kind of request from Turkey.

In 2012, when Twitter first started publishing transparency reports, Turkey requested information on only one account. The number of information demands from Turkey increased sharply over the six years since inception.

The United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, and France are the other six countries that request most account information from Twitter.

The company stated in the report that a total of 166,513 accounts were suspended for violations related to the promotion of terrorism during the six-month period.

“Of those suspensions, 91% consisted of accounts flagged by internal, purpose-built technological tools. The trend we are observing year-on-year is a steady decrease in terrorist organizations attempting to use our service,” Twitter claimed.

Over the same period, the company also suspended a total of 456,989 unique accounts for violations related to child sexual exploitation.

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