Friday, April 26, 2013

Google Transparency Report: More government deletion requests than ever before - TIME ONLINE

In Google’s transparency report plays the video insulting “Innocence of Muslims” a central role. But many politicians see themselves vilified and made deletion requests.

protest in India against the insulting film “Innocence of Muslims” (October 2012)

Google has never been so often asked by the public authorities to delete content as in the second half of last year. A total of 2,285 court orders, police and other governmental request, the company has received from July to December. 2011 and 2010, there were in the same period, less than half as many. This is clear from the new Google transparency report.

However, Google has yielded only 45 per cent of all inquiries, in percentage terms is less than ever before. Even 57 percent of all court orders, Google has – at least for now – not followed



Most inquiries concerning personality rights abuses such as slander, which have emerged in services like Google Groups, Blogger, YouTube or web search.

Two events stand out, however, from the data. The first was the distribution of the film section of Innocence of Muslims . 17 countries have requested the deletion of Mohammed defamatory videos on YouTube by Google.

The trailer for the film has never fully emerged in many Muslim countries led to violent demonstrations. In Indonesia, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, Google has restricted access to the video then, in Egypt and Libya, at least temporarily. Although the video does not violate Google’s guidelines against, but the company wanted to be liable in any way responsible for the dead.

Patrick Beuth

Patrick Beuth


Patrick Beuth is digital editor at the resort at ZEIT ONLINE. His profile page click here.


criticized especially U.S. users, the decision as censorship and as an interference with the freedom of speech and expression – even though they were not affected. In their view Google have signaled that can be enforced censorship, if contradicted any content only by force.

The second event was the 2012 local elections in Brazil. As in the past, Brazilian politicians appealed to a law, are prohibited by the defamatory and disparaging election campaigns. This led to a surge in number of deletion requests.

but are rather the little stories in Google’s report, showing how state institutions and individual politicians are trying to take control over what we read on the internet about it and see. In Italy, as a member of a city council has demanded that a YouTube video is deleted, in which his face is seen on a campaign poster. He thought that was a violation of his privacy. Google refused.

In Argentina, Google received a request to delete a YouTube video of the band The Rockadictos in which President Cristina Kirchner is represented as a cartoon character. She lays in front of U.S. President Barack Obama toward a striptease including masturbation. Google has set an age limit for your video, but of course there are multiple copies, which can be seen without restrictions.

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