Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Facebook removed almost 3 million infringing posts in first half of 2017

Facebook removed almost 3 million infringing posts in first half of 2017

Facebook released its latest transparency report today, which covered account data requests from the first half of 2017 and revealed a 21 per cent increase in government requests for user data worldwide.

The number of requests was up 25.7 per cent from the 26,014 made during the last six months of 2016, Facebook said.

Over half of those requests, some 57% of them included a non-disclosure order that stops Facebook from notifying the account holder of the request of data from the government. The governments of these countries had more than 50 percent of their requests granted. From 2013 through 2015, for instance, Facebook, Google, and Twitter all saw increases in government requests for user data. The Menlo Park, California-based company also revealed that over 110,000 pieces of Facebook content were removed over trademark infringement, while more than 37,000 were removed from Instagram.

The report read that the Bangladesh government sought data of 21 users in 20 requests.

Not all requests are secret, but 57 percent of those from the United States were accompanied with a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting the company from notifying the user.

Facebook law enforcement takedowns quadrupled in six months because of a school shooting video
Government requests for Facebook user data continue to increase worldwide

India become the second nation with 12% of data request and the U.S with 41% became first in the list.

Facebook said overall the number of content restrictions for violating local law increased by 304% globally, compared to the second half of 2016, from 6,944 to 28,036.

More than 1,800 requests were so-called "emergency disclosures", which are granted to law enforcement on a case-by-case basis, and are a subject of some controversy.

The majority of those restrictions - about 20,506 - came from a request to pull down a video depicting a 15-year-old student shooting at his teacher and students in Monterrey. So, 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 are also concerned that the type of information disclosed in the transparency report could merely be the tip of the iceberg of what is really going on", said Ms Wood. We continue to be deeply concerned by internet disruptions, which can create barriers for businesses and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their family and friends.

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