Google reports that government censorship requests have surged

27 Apr


Depressing but true: Google’s decision to publish details on government takedown requests hasn’t slowed governments’ zeal for removing content from the Internet. As a matter of fact, it seems that just the opposite has happened over the past three years. Google this week reported that government content removal requests surged from 1,811 in the first half of 2012 to 2,285 in the second half of 2012. 39% of all takedown requests were related to cases of alleged defamation, Google said, while only 18% of requests were related to privacy and security concerns. Among other things, Google said it received “a request to remove a YouTube video that allegedly defames the President” of Argentina “by depicting her in a compromising position”; a “request from legal representatives of a member of the executive branch” of Israel’s government “to remove two YouTube videos for alleged defamation”; and a “request to remove a YouTube video that allegedly defamed a presidential candidate” in South Korea.


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