Government Requests for Facebook user data continue to increase worldwide

Facebook law enforcement takedowns quadrupled in six months because of a school shooting video

Facebook said Monday the USA government is making more secret requests for data about more users than ever before. In context, that number is massive: the company only restricted content for violating local law a total of about 28,000 times, meaning the video accounted for 72 percent of restrictions in the first half of 2017.

The report covers every information request from across the world over the first half of the year - apart from those subject to national security delays. Facebook also revealed that at least 50% of the requests from each of these countries was granted, including 85% for the US, 90% for the United Kingdom and 74% for France. In the second half of past year, that figure stood at 64,276. Rightsholders can send takedown requests for unauthorised uses to a team of Facebook content analysts.

Facebook also announced on Monday that it removed almost 3 million posts, including videos, ads and other forms of content, from its services during the period under review, following complaints of counterfeiting and copyright and trademark infringement.

If one looks at the entire data shared in Facebook's Transparency report, India is number two in the list after the United States when it comes to the volume of requests.

Facebook did not supply data about earlier periods or release individual requests, a level of detail that advertising rival Alphabet provides for requests to remove Google search results. Next was India with 12 percent, then the United Kingdom (9 percent), Germany (7 percent), and France (6 percent).

In a foreword to the report, the company stated: "If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary". We restricted access in Mexico to 20,506 instances of the video in the first half of 2017. However, sheer numbers demonstrate demands hit 78,890 in the central portion of 2017, an expansion of 33 percent year-on-year and 23 percent on the past half year time frame. Facebook says it complied with 54.30 per cent of these particular legal process requests. On Instagram, it made a move against 108,094 posts following 10,231 fake cases.

Facebook removed 1,818,794 posts due to copyright infringement from the site in that period, and 685,996 posts from Instagram because of copyright infringement.

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