Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan – According to Twitter’s self-reported data, the platform has complied with almost every government request to remove content since Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech advocate, assumed control.
Following Musk’s takeover, the social media giant complies with most takedown requests, including those from Turkey and India. From October 27 to April 13, the company fully or partially complied with 98.8 percent of requests, which have been criticised for silencing critics.
Twitter has reportedly complied with a significant number of requests made to it. As per data compiled by the Berkman Centre for Internet Society at Harvard Law School, Twitter fully complied with 808 requests, which accounts for 83 percent of the total requests made. Additionally, the social media platform partially complied with 154 requests, 15.8 percent of the total requests.
Twitter has not reported any instances of rejecting takedown requests during the specified period. However, the outcome of nine cases remains undisclosed.
Turkey, Germany, and India were the top countries responsible for takedown requests, with Turkey accounting for 50% of the requests, followed by Germany at 26% and India at 5%.
Questions have been raised about Elon Musk’s commitment to protecting free speech following the release of data. Musk, who purchased the site for $44bn last year, had cited safeguarding free speech as a primary reason for the acquisition.
Twitter’s Compliance with Government Takedown Requests Lower Under Previous Ownership
According to recent reports, Twitter has reportedly fully complied with 50 percent of requests, which amounts to 440, and partially complied with 42 percent, or 377 requests, in the 12 months leading up to Musk’s takeover.
Turkey, South Korea, and India were the top three countries with the highest percentage of requests, accounting for 27%, 20.6%, and 12.8%, respectively.
Digital Rights Group’s Legal Director Expresses Concern Over Recent Development
Networkustad reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal director, Corynne McSherry, has expressed concerns over government takedown requests on Twitter. McSherry cited Twitter’s past reports and actions, showing that such requests are often legally flawed or improper. She also noted that even lawful requests may conflict with international freedom of expression principles.
According to her statement, even though many people have stopped using Twitter, it still holds significant power and importance on a global scale, especially for journalists and advocates of human rights. Twitter’s swift compliance with takedown requests raises questions about its compliance with other government requests without objection.
Government takedowns have increased in response to a series of changes made by Musk on Twitter. These changes include reducing the workforce by 80% to approximately 1,500 employees and eliminating the company’s entire human rights team.
Twitter has closed several regional offices, including the one in India, where the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented extensive regulations to oversee social media and the internet.
Twitter’s internal transparency report on government removal requests has not been published since July. Instead, data has been collected through automatic submissions from Twitter to the Lumen database.
According to Jyoti Panday, a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Internet Governance Project, Twitter’s business interests seem to be prioritised over human rights.
In an interview with Networkustad, Panday revealed that Elon Musk had dissolved several vital teams in various parts of the globe.
Platform Users Demand Their Content be Restored No changes made. This statement is already in newspaper style. According to a recent statement, the mechanisms for judgement have been disbanded, leaving individuals to assert their rights without recourse. “I’m well within my rights,” the individual stated but expressed concern over the lack of response due to the absence of established mechanisms for evaluation.