(CTN News) – Around 1.155 lakh pieces of content have been asked by the Indian government to be removed from Google’s platforms, such as YouTube, web browser, etc., throughout the last decade. As a result, a Surfshark analysis found that India is now the third most common country requesting that Google remove certain content.
More than 19,600 takedown requests were sent to Google by Indian government entities between 2013 and 2022. According to the data, “defamation” was one of people’s top justifications for making the requests.
The statistics demonstrated a worldwide pattern of governments seeking to restrict speech using content removal requests.
According to the report, government requests for content removal have surpassed 3,55,000 in the last decade. With a 50% increase in removal requests, 2022 is a record-breaking year.
Content removal requests increase globally during international conflicts and wars
The number of requests from governments to have content removed from Google products is increasing. The Surfshark research indicated that the global count has increased approximately thirteenfold in the last decade, going from 7,000 to 91,000 requests yearly.
On a worldwide scale, the research noted that governments typically cite national security as the primary justification for removing content. During international conflicts and wars, the report highlighted a significant rise in content removal requests to Google from governments worldwide.
Lead Researcher at Surfshark Agneska Sablovskaja said, “We are considering the balance between genuine interest in a country’s public safety and the potential encroachment into censorship” due to the rise in content removal requests to Google from governments worldwide during times of international conflicts and wars.
Most of the content asked to be removed was from YouTube
The Indian government paid particular attention to Google’s YouTube content out of all their regulated platforms. The majority of the requests to remove content were directed towards YouTube.
The report claimed that the majority of the content that India requested to be removed came from YouTube (8.8k), Google Play Apps (4.3k), and Web Search (1.4k).
A total of 19,600 requests for content removal were lodged with Google by the Indian government. The government has made an average of five daily requests over the past decade.
Claims of libel, slander, and business defamation involving damage to reputation accounted for the top three reasons for material removal requests (20.1%). The most common types of impersonation were defamation (16.3%), privacy and security (8.3%), and impersonation (16.2%).
In India, the information and communications authorities, the courts, and the police have been the three most common entities seeking the removal of content from Google.