Twitter unveiled its first Twitter Transparency Report, following the lead of fellow giant in the world wide web, Google. The primordial vision of the transparency report is to share to the public government interference or rather requests to either gather user information data, and/or hold back contents posted by users. It also includes the requests sent to Twitter to remove copyrighted contents by their holders.
Furthermore, aside from all the aforementioned contents, Twitter will also divulge in the said report the actions that their team took for the requests, how they responded to the requests matters greatly to the public. Either they recognized and accepted it, or they refused such, makes a big difference.
This initial report will show data pertaining to the first half of 2012. It particularly showed copyright violation complaints along with a request to take down post, government requesting details of a particular user and demands from various authorities to remove some of the users’ posts. This actions only points out to one fact, the government recognizes Twitter’s influence over the masses thereby finding it necessary to concern itself with its activities.
Jeremy Kessel, manager of legal policy division of Twitter shared that the enormous volume of requests they received for the first half of the year have already surpassed the requests made for the whole year of 2011. He also claimed that Twitter will be releasing these transparency reports at least twice a year. Twitter’s disclosure aims to place the government responsible for its acts of inspecting records. It will also show that they are adhering to these requests like good citizens of the world.
This move that Twitter took is expected to pressure Facebook to do the same. The social network is also known to be cradle for information that government finds very useful and thus it could not be doubted that they also receive similar requests just like Twitter. Facebook actually has included in their user policy that they may when necessary calls “access, share and preserve information pertaining to the user in response to legal requests. This would be totally discretionary upon Facebook. Facebook is yet to share these facts and numbers to the public, however, it still does not show any plans of doing so in the future.
Based on the report as divulged by Twitter, bulk of the requests they get pertains to copyright matters. These requests number are far greater than authorities’ requests for user information. Within the time frame, 3,378 are claimed to be copyrighted materials which they demand to be removed, 38% of this Twitter took positive action. The said issue concerned 5,874 account or users. Total of 5,275 tweets were removed.
The report also showed that Twitter received 849 requests for user data. These requests came from 23 countries. Twitter responded to the requests positively to 63% of the requests. Majority of the requests, 679 or 80% came from the U.S. It affected 948 accounts.
Also recorded are three requests to delete contents. Two of which are directed by the authorities from Greece, and one from authorities from Turkey. However, Twitter did not heed to the requests.