Twitter sees its largest increase from governments wanting account information

In its latest transparency report, Twitter has revealed that requests for account information from governments has jumped 52 percent, with the United States leading the way by making 56 percent of all global requests.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor on

Governmental bodies around the world have an appetite for Twitter account information and are wanting more than ever, with the social network reporting its largest increase in requests for account information in the history of its transparency report.

Twitter said it had experienced a 52 percent increase in requests for account information, and over the six months to the end of June had handled 4,363 requests and produced information in 58 percent of cases. The company said the number of accounts affected by information requests had jumped by 78 percent, to 12,711.

The United States made the highest number of requests, with 2,436 requests impacting 6,324 accounts and an 80 percent success rate, followed by Japan, with 425 requests on 529 accounts and information coughed up 42 percent of the time. Japan overtook previous second-highest requester Turkey, which is now the third-highest, having made 412 requests impacting 670 accounts, all of which were unsuccessful.

Turkey was far and away the country that made the highest number of content removal requests, making 92 percent of the 442 requests Twitter received globally from courts, and 55 percent of all content takedown requests made by government bodies such as police forces. In Turkey from January to June, Twitter withheld 1,667 tweets from 125 accounts.

"We filed legal objections with Turkish courts in response to 60 percent of Turkish orders received," Twitter said. "Our objections prevailed 5 percent of the time."

Behind Turkey in asking for content to be removed were Russia, with a 63 percent success rate on 68 requests; South Korea, whose 40 requests all failed; and France, which had a 7 percent strike rate from 32 requests.

Across its network -- including Twitter, Vine, and the newly launched Periscope -- the company saw an 11 percent increase in copyright takedown notices. Twitter withheld 47,882 tweets from 22,880 accounts as a result of handling 14,694 copyright notices, and in the three months since its acquisition and launch, Periscope was handed 1,391 copyright notices, which had a 71 percent success rate.

Twitter has extended its six-monthly transparency report to include trademark notices and email privacy ratings.

In the six months to June 30, Twitter handled 12,911 trademark notices, which had a 7 percent strike rate.

For email privacy, Twitter rated email providers on the level transport encryption and verification used. Large email providers Gmail.com, Hotmail.com, and Live.com received full marks, with Yahoo.com found wanting when it came to verification, as many Japanese providers including Yahoo.co.uk failed to support encryption at all.

In its second quarter, Twitter posted a net loss of $137 million on revenue of $502 million, and reported 316 million monthly active users worldwide, up 15 percent year over year.

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