TORONTO – Twitter saw a 40 per cent increase in government requests for user information from July to December 2014, according to the social network’s latest transparency report. Canada issued 32 requests for account information in that period and Twitter complied with those requests in 34 per cent of those cases.
Twitter went from receiving no information requests from the Russian government, to receiving more than 100 requests over the last six months. According to its report, the social network did not hand over information in response to any of those requests.
Similarly, requests from Turkey’s government increased over 150 per cent, but Twitter declined to hand over any users’ information.
Turkey also issued 477 requests to remove content from Twitter – the most of any country.
“Turkish requests generally focused on claimed violations of personal rights (such as defamation) of both private citizens and government officials,” reads the report.
Interestingly, Turkey’s government banned Twitter for a two-week period in March 2014 after users posted links suggesting government corruption. The government lifted the Twitter ban in April after the country’s high court ruled that it violated the right to free expression.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been very vocal about his dislike for Twitter and other social networks, once stating, “To me, social media is the worst menace to society.”
Twitter has been publishing transparency reports since 2012.