Google reports new highs for governments requesting content to be removed

Google issued its Content Removal Transparency Report for the first half of 2021, and warned it has continued to see a rising trend in requests from governments, as they pass new laws to allow content to be removed.

“These laws vary by country and region, and require the removal of content on a very wide range of issues — from hate speech to adult content and obscenity, to medical misinformation, to privacy and intellectual property violations,” Google vice president of trust and safety David Graff wrote.

“While content removal and local representative laws are often associated with repressive regimes, they are increasingly not limited to such nations.”

Leading the way on the number of requests was Russia, India, South Korea, and Turkey, with Pakistan, Brazil, the US, Australia, Vietnam, and Indonesia closing out the top ten.

In terms of volume of items asked to be removed, Indonesia led the way thanks to a single request to have over 500,000 URLs removed in the archipelago for violating gambling laws. Google said it removed over 20,000 URLs and was reviewing the remainder.

Russia picked up the number two slot, followed by Kazakhstan, Pakistan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, the US, Turkey, and Brazil.

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