The Indian government and its agencies became the single-largest information demand makers from Twitter for the first time during July-December 2020, accounting for 25 per cent of all the demands made globally, shows the platform’s latest transparency report. Twitter publishes the transparency report every six months, which it started in 2012.

India made as many as 3,615 emergency and routine legal demands for account information from Twitter between July and December 2020. Of these, 152 legal demands were made by the government exercising its emergency powers, while 3,463 requests were routine in nature. Twitter complied with 0.7 per cent of the emergency requests made, while it complied with 0.6 per cent of the routine requests made by the Indian government.

Overall, during 2020, the government made 6,228 information requests and Twitter complied with 0.8 per cent of all such requests made during the year, the report shows. As per Twitter, government information requests include emergency and routine legal demands for account information that is either issued by law enforcement or other agencies.

During the July-December 2020 period, Twitter received 6,971 legal demands from India, of which there were 15 court orders, while there were as many as 6,956 other legal demands. Twitter complied with 73.3 per cent of the court orders and 8.9 per cent of other legal demands made of it during this six-month period, it said.

The number of accounts withheld in India also rose by more than a triple during this period compared to January-June 2020. Between July and December 2020, Twitter withheld as many as 60 accounts, while during January and June period only 17 accounts were withheld. A total of 598 tweets were withheld during July-December, compared to 377 in January-June.

Overall, during the July-December period, governments across the world made 14,561 requests, of which 2,542 were made by exercising emergency powers, while the rest 12,109 were routine in nature.

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