Twitter Facing Increased Call From World Governments To Censor Free Speech

( In its biannual transparency report released on Wednesday, Twitter acknowledges that in the second half of 2020 it saw a surge in worldwide demands from governments to remove content posted by journalists and news outlets.

Twitter said 199 verified accounts for journalists and news outlets faced 361 legal demands from governments to remove content in the second half of 2020 – up 26% from the first half of 2020.

Of the nations to request such removals, India submitted the most, followed by Turkey, Pakistan and Russia.

Twitter has been embroiled in an ongoing conflict with India over the country’s new content regulations for social media. As a result, last week, Twitter hired an interim chief compliance officer in India to help the social media platform better comply with the new rules.

India’s removal requests during the second half of 2020 pushed the United States out of first place for the first time since Twitter began tracking. But given the Biden White House’s ongoing efforts to force social media companies to ban “vaccine disinformation,” no doubt the US will regain its number one position in 2021.

Of the requests made, Twitter did ultimately remove five tweets from journalists and news publishers.

It is not uncommon for some countries to restrict access or outright ban social media platforms. During last week’s demonstrations in Cuba, the communist regime began restricting access to Facebook and messaging apps like Telegram. In June, Nigeria banned Twitter from its country and ordered television and radio stations not to use the social media platform for gathering information.

Globally, Twitter received over 14,500 requests for information between July 1 and December 31, 2020. Of those requests, Twitter produced some or all of the information for 30 percent of the requests. Requests for information include governments or other entities asking for the identities of people tweeting under pseudonyms.

Additionally, Twitter received over 38,500 legal demands to remove various content, down 9% from the first half of 2020. Of those 38,500 demands, Twitter complied with 29 percent.