Twitter revealed on Thursday that governments around the world are asking the company to remove content from user accounts or spy on their personal details. The social media company has revealed in a new report that it acted on a record 60,000 legal demands from local, state or national governments over a six-month period last year. According to the report, these governments wanted either the content to be removed from the Twitter account or the company should disclose the confidential information of the user, such as direct messages or the user’s location.
Twitter’s head of security and integrity, Joel Roth, said in a conversation broadcast on the site on Thursday, “We’re seeing governments use legal tactics to expose people who use our service, and account for account owners.” and use legal demands to try and silence people.” His information was sought, while India is far behind in this matter.
Twitter says that it shared about 40 percent of the user’s account information according to the information requested. There are frequent requests for account information from Japan, and most requests from Twitter to remove content from the account. Japan made more than 23,000 requests, half of all requests to remove the content. Russia also did not lag behind. Facebook and Instagram owner Meta also reported an increase in the government’s demand for personal user data during the same time frame.
Twitter also reported a huge increase in requests from governments targeting verified journalists and news outlets during the last half of 2021. Governments resorted to legislation against 349 accounts seeking information from verified journalists or news outlets around the world between July and December last year, a 103 percent increase. Twitter did not provide details on which countries requested the journalists’ accounts or how many queries they complied with. Rob Mahoney, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press (AP) that the government was using social media companies to silence critics and journalists.