Google on Sunday published its latest Transparency Report, which included data on government takedown requests made between July and December 2011. The Mountain View-based company reports that it has received more than 1,000 requests from governments around the world to remove items such as YouTube videos and search listings. The Internet giant, which complied with more than half the requests, noted that an increasing number of requests involved the removal of political content.
“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote on the company’s blog. “When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.”
Google received 461 court orders for the removal of 6,989 items, and it went on to remove 68% of those items. The company also received 546 informal requests and went on to pull content related to 46% of those requests.