Governments ramp up demands for user info, Twitter warns

Twitter warned Thursday that governments around the globe are asking the company to remove content or snoop on private details of user accounts at an alarming rate.

The social media company revealed in a new report that it fielded a record number of legal demands — nearly 60,000 during a six-month period last year —- from local, state or national governments that wanted Twitter to remove content from accounts or reveal confidential information such as direct messages or user locations.

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Sharing our latest transparency update, marking decade long commitment
This year marks a decade of transparency reporting for Twitter, and today we are publishing our 20th Transparency Report.

Why does this matter? Over the last 10 years how governments attempt to control free expression, remove content, and reveal the identity of account owners on Twitter has evolved significantly. Meaningful transparency helps people understand the rules of online services and hold governments accountable for their actions, and in turn, helps keep us accountable for principled content moderation and responsiveness to government demands. Transparency is a key guiding principle in our mission to serve the public conversation, protect the Open Internet, and advance the internet as a global force for good. We have and will continue to fight for the people who use Twitter to raise their voice.

Highlights from our latest report

We continue to see a concerning trend toward attempts to limit global press freedom, with an increase in government legal demands targeting journalists, as well as an overall increasing number of legal demands on accounts – both represent record highs since reporting began.

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