India tops Facebook's content restriction list
New Delhi: In the first six months of 2014, Facebook received requests to restrict nearly 5,000 pieces of information on its website in India, the highest for any country.
The social networking giant restricted content on the requests of law enforcement officials and India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) as most of the content was related to criticism of religion or the state which is prohibited under the local laws.
India is the largest user-base for Facebook outside the US with over 100 million users.
Similar steps were taken in Turkey (1,893) and Pakistan (1,773) during the said period, Facebook said in its Government Requests Report.
India also came second, just behind the US, in terms of government requests for access to users and accounts.
During January-June 2014, Facebook said it had received 4,559 requests for information on 5,958 users and accounts. Of this, 50.87 per cent of requests saw some data being produced.
In terms of requests for user data, the US government leads with 15,433 requests and 23,667 users accounts referenced. Facebook complied with 80.15 percent of requests by the US. The US has zero requests for content restrictions.
Last year in July and December India saw restrictions being placed on 4,765 pieces of content on Facebook. Once again this was due to local laws which don't allow for criticism of a religion or the state.
In contrast, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brunei, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Oman, Palestine, Paraguay, Senegal, Sudan and Thailand only sent out 1 request each for user data in the first half of 2014.
Notably, Facebook is not bound to co-operate with official requests for user data or blocking of posts unless legal matters such as security threats compel it to do so.