Twitter released its own six-month transparency report revealing which countries make the highest number of requests for information, Twitter revealed facts about members monitoring rules violations and a surprising trend in accounts breaking the rules.
Twitter and the right to privacy
One of the goals mentioned by Twitter was to protect the open internet.
The open internet is a nod to Twitter’s stance against onerous regulation from governments around the world. These regulations could seek to place limits on the types of information that can be posted on Twitter.
Thus, the idea of an open internet is one of the global standards for freedom of expression, and the right to privacy and fairness.
In the open internet, according to Twitter document on the open internetContent moderation must be accurate.
This is how the Open Internet document describes content formatting:
“Content moderation is about more than just letting it go or deleting it. Regulation must allow for a range of interventions, with clear definitions of content categories.”
Sinéad McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president of global public policy and philanthropy, stated that Twitter is facing increasing attempts by governments to remove content from Twitter and positions Twitter as protecting its members’ rights to privacy.
We are facing unprecedented challenges as governments around the world increasingly try to step in and remove content.
This threat to privacy and freedom of expression is a deeply disturbing trend that requires our undivided attention. The Twitter Transparency Center update highlights our long-standing commitment to meaningful transparency and the pressing and urgent need to defend an open, free, secure, and global internet.”
Information and removal requests
Twitter reported a 4% drop in government requests for account information and account retention.
Save requests They are requests from law enforcement to preserve account information that can be used in legal proceedings.
The United States accounted for 57% of all government conservation requests.
In addition, government entities from the United States also issued more information requests than any other country, at 24% of the volume.
Twitter’s compliance with government requests for information decreased by 9%, and only partially or fully complied with 64% of requests for information.
Non-governmental information requests
Twitter receives requests for information from non-governmental entities, for purposes such as civil or criminal legal cases.
What country requests the most non-governmental information requests from third parties? If you guessed the United States, you would have guessed incorrectly.
Japan made the most requests for information from Twitter, followed by Brazil and then the United States. These three countries account for 89% of all information requests received from non-governmental entities.
Legal demands to remove content
Twitter received 43,387 government legal requests to remove content for the six months covered in this report. This equates to over 7,200 requests per month and approximately 241 takedown requests per day.
Twitter reported that the number of government legal requests to remove content in the reported six-month period was the largest ever received.
The graph shows an increase in government legal demands on Twitter
95% of legal government requests to remove content originated from just five countries.
Top countries requiring government demands to remove content
- South Korea
Twitter moderation procedures
Twitter asked account holders to remove 4.7 million tweets that violated the Twitter Rules.
Enforcement of the Twitter Rules was swift. The majority of Twitter’s tweet removal moderation actions (68%) occurred before the offending posts achieved 100 impressions, with only 24% of the offending posts achieving 1,000 impressions.
The Transparency Report also shared that Twitter permanently closed 453,754 accounts for violating its Child Exploitation (CSE) policies.
Of those permanently suspended accounts, 89% were closed proactively by Twitter through the use of internal tools.
This is positive because it shows that Twitter isn’t slack about waiting for people to report rule violations but proactively hunting down and removing such accounts.
Moderation’s same proactive approach also led to the suspension of 44,974 accounts found to be promoting terrorism and violent organizations.
Twitter reported that their proactive approach resulted in the removal of 93% of these accounts through the use of their internal processes.
This proactive approach to quickly identifying and removing spam accounts may contribute to a downward trend in registration of those types of accounts reported by Twitter.
Twitter’s proactive stance protects the user experience
Facebook recently published a transparency report for top posts, and one of the disappointing qualities of Facebook’s automatic moderation is that it takes a long time for content that violates their policies to be identified and removed. Any post that violates their content policies can receive 100 million views before it is identified and removed.
Compared to Twitter, Twitter is so fast that the majority of content violations are only seen 68 times. This is a big difference between the two social networking sites.
Twitter’s proactive stance against harmful content is a good sign that Twitter is making strides.
Rightly or wrongly, however, there is the impression that they are not doing enough to identify and remove state-sponsored bots that spread misinformation and there is nothing in this transparency report that directly indicates actions taken against those specific types of accounts.