Government requests for Twitter account details surge

Government requests for information on Twitter accounts increase by 40 per cent in the last 6 months of 2014, with Russia sending more than 100 requests.

Turkey asked Twitter to remove content on 477 occasions, the biggest number of requests from any country and an increase of more than 150 per cent for the period January to June.

Russia had never requested for information on Twitter accounts before, but asked the social network remove content from 91 accounts.

Twitter said that it complied with 13 per cent of the requests from Russia to remove content.

The promotion of illegal drugs and pleas to attempt to suppress non-violent demonstrations were cited as reasons by Russia for requesting the removal of content.

Twitter said that it had “denied several requests to silence popular critics of the Russian government and other demands to limit speech about non-violent demonstrations in Ukraine.”

Turkey asked for information on 356 accounts. Twitter rejected all of the requests.

Germany sent 43 requests for the removal of content, most were pleas to remove alleged hateful and discriminatory content.

Twitter encouraged other companies to publish their own reports on government requests they had received:

“As more companies consider publishing or expanding their own reports, we strongly encourage them to join us and our peers at Google, Vimeo, WordPress and Wikimedia in publishing government removal demands.

“The global community deserves this level of transparency from its governments and its service providers.”