The report stated, “India’s 17,338 Legal demands between 2012 and 2021 account for 7% of the global legal demands (amounting) to 225,076 worldwide”
The report comes as Twitter took the Indian government to court alleging abuse of power, approaching the Karnataka High Court
Twitter banned over 46,000 accounts for violating its guidelines between April 26, 2022, and May 25, 2022
According to an internal report from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), India’s orders for content blocking and takedowns issued to Twitter are just 7% of the total legal demands made across the world during 2011-2021.
The report, seen by ET, also mentioned that the takedown orders are proportional to the country’s user base.
The report stated, “India’s 17,338 Legal demands between 2012 and 2021 account for 7% of the global legal demands (amounting) to 225,076 worldwide.” It is prudent to note that Twitter has around 23.6 Mn users in India.
The official analysis read, “India is 7% of Twitter’s global user base and so is the volume of removal requests, (from India).”
The MeitY report added that Japan accounts for 18% of Twitter’s user base and has issued 32% of the global legal demands. At the same time, South Korea has only 2% of Twitter’s global user base but still was responsible for 5% of all removal requests.
The report comes as Twitter took the Indian government to court alleging abuse of power, approaching the Karnataka High Court. The social media platform challenged around 39 blocking orders issued by the IT ministry.
In its petition, Twitter said that the Indian government sent takedown orders for around 1,400 accounts and 175 tweets. The microblogging site called it a “gross violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform.”
It should be noted that Twitter banned over 46,000 accounts for violating its guidelines between April 26, 2022, and May 25, 2022. Further, it moved against 1,621 URLs in the same period.
Incidentally, the government is planning to pull Facebook and Twitter up for low compliance with legal orders at the next meeting with the social media platforms. Further, in the MeitY report, the government brought up the same fact, stating that Twitter’s compliance rate in India was “abysmally low”.
The government cited Twitter’s own transparency report, stating that its compliance rate in India is only 11%. Twitter has only complied with 34% of the 76 court orders issued to it, according to its transparency report.
For comparison, the overall compliance rate in the US is 13%. It has a compliance rate as high as 38% in Japan, the MeitY report noted.
The MeitY report added that according to Twitter’s global transparency data, 95% of the total legal demands come from Japan, Russia, Turkey, India and South Korea. While Twitter has not updated the portal since June 2021, between January and June 2021, India accounted for around 11% of the global legal demands.
With the introduction of the new IT rules in 2021, the government has been at odds with various internet companies, including social media platforms.
The government has been introducing various laws that give it more and more power over various aspects of the internet.
While the IT rules seek to regulate the social media platform, the recent developments also include the government’s move to mandate VPNs to keep logs of user activity and make them available to ‘relevant authorities’ when asked for. This has seen multiple VPNs move out of the country as a result.
It is not all one-sided, however. Social media platforms have taken non-compliance as a means to get their way and not follow the laws. This is evident by the comparatively low compliance rate of Twitter in India than in other countries.