Google Transparency Report for 2012 Shows Rise in Censorship
Posted: May 3, 2013 by Maja Johnson
According to Google's Transparency Report for the second half of 2012, the censorship trends show a worrying constant rise.
The Transparency Report provides data on which countries, governments, companies and other entities have asked Google to remove some content from its sites. The numbers, however, are frightening. Only for the last six months of 2012, from July to December, Google received an amazing 2,285 requests to remove 24,179 pieces of media on its websites. The numbers are nearly twice as much from the first six months of 2012.
The number of governments that are trying to censor content on Google is constantly rising. Many governments ask Google to remove any content, comments etc. against the government that display it in a negative light. Brazil was the leading country with the highest number of requests. During the municipal elections in the country, Google received 697 requests to remove some content on its sites connected to electoral violations, defamations and comments that offended the political candidates.
Another country that demonstrated a rise in its requests to Google was Russia with 114 requests. These requests were mainly due to the new Russian Internet blacklist. The law prohibits minors from seeing pornographic content or websites about suicide or the use of drugs.
Regarding religious content, Google received requests from 20 countries regarding the video "Innocence of Muslims". The countries asked Google to remove YouTube videos and clips of the movie. Google, on the other hand, upon reviewing the video and the clips related to it, decided that it did not violate the Community Guidelines, but still restricted its view in several countries.