New Delhi: India has topped the list of countries restricting content on Facebook, with the number number of pieces restricted tripling to over 15,000 in the first half of 2015. According to Facebook’s Government Requests Report, the number of entries blocked out by India stood at 15,155 in January-June 2015, compared with 5,832 in July-December 2014.
Globally, the number stood at 20,568, more than doubling from the second half of 2014, when the social networking firm took down 9,707 pieces of content. At 4,496, Turkey had the second-highest number of content restricted, followed by France at 295 in the first half of 2015. Facebook said it received 5,115 total requests in the first six months of 2015 (5,473 in the second half of 2014) and 6,268 for users/accounts (7,281) from India.
“Percentage of requests where some data were produced stood at 45.32% during January-June 2015," it added. Technology firms have been pushing for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off user concerns that their data are being shared with government agencies in violation of user privacy. “Facebook does not provide any government with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s data," Facebook said.
India is home to the second largest user base with over 125 million users. Facebook has about 1.55 billion users. “We restricted access in India to content reported primarily by law enforcement agencies and the india computer emergency response team within the ministry of communications and information technology because it was anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India," it added.
Government requests for account data globally rose 18% in the first half of 2015 to 41,214 accounts, from 35,051 in the second half of 2014, Facebook said.