Technology

Twitter sees bump in global gov't information requests

Twitter saw a 7 percent global increase in government information requests during the last half of 2016, a new company transparency report revealed on Tuesday.

The new growth rate of requests is significantly less dramatic than in previous reporting periods. The U.S. topped the list of countries asking for account information, accounting for 38 percent of the 6,000 total requests received.

In the latter half of the year, Twitter suspended 376,890 accounts for "violations related to promotion of terrorism." According to the report, only 2 percent of those suspensions were in response to government requests, while 74 percent came about after the accounts were flagged by Twitter's internal process.

In what is Twitter's 10th transparency report, the company added a new section detailing government requests targeting journalists. Twitter received 88 such requests from July to December asking that the social media platform remove content posted by verified journalist and news organization accounts.

Eighty-eight percent of those requests came from Turkey alone. Twitter said in the report that it removed 15 tweets and 14 accounts in response to Turkish court orders. In most cases, the company filed unsuccessful legal challenges to those orders.

Twitter said that in a number of instances it was ordered to remove content showing gory images in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The company posted all of the court orders on the online database Lumen, which also studies such legal orders.

Twitter received nearly 6,000 requests from governments and courts for account or tweet removals during the reporting period. In response, the company withheld 367 accounts and 1,113 tweets.

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