Twitter has emulated Google and released a transparency report disclosing how often it has been asked for user information by national governments in the first six months of 2012. The Australian government and legal system apparently hasn’t engaged with Twitter much yet, having made fewer than 10 requests for user information over that time.
Picture by Araya Diaz/Getty Images
While Twitter didn’t disclose the exact number, it said only 33 per cent were actually complied with, which suggests that the magic number was 3, 6 or 9. Twitter’s notes suggest that it doesn’t disclose those numbers because of the risk of prejudicing active investigations. Twitter also disclosed figures on formal requests for content to be removed. There were only three (two in Greece and one in Turkey), and none was successful.
It’s logical that requests to Twitter would be lower than Google, which saw 646 requests from the Australian government in the second half of 2011. Google has a much broader range of services, and the vast majority of those requests related to web search results.
The busiest area on Twitter when it comes to legal activity? Removing tweets in response to copyright takedown notices. 3378 requests were made to remove content, and while only 38 per cent on average were successful, a total of 5275 tweets were taken down.
Twitter Transparency Report [Twitter Blog]