This article was published on July 31, 2014

Twitter transparency report: Account info requests up 46%, still no national security breakdown

Twitter transparency report: Account info requests up 46%, still no national security breakdown

Twitter has published its fifth transparency report, revealing that the number of requests it receives from different countries around the world is continuing to climb, up 46 percent since its last report in February.

In total, it said 2,058 requests for account information had been received from 54 different countries between January and June this year, which includes 8 countries that had never previously lodged requests.

Additionally, it received 432 requests to remove content (from 31 countries, including 3 new ones) and 9,199 copyright takedown requests for Twitter and Vine posts. While these numbers might seem relatively small compared to the total amount of content posted on the networks, they represent significant increases in most cases. Those copyright takedown requests are up 38 percent, for example.

Details, details…

The US led the way, by a huge margin, in the total number of requests for account information with 1,257 (61 percent of all requests), of which, 72 percent resulted in some information being handed over. The next highest number of requests came from Japan, with 192 – just 36 percent of these resulted in information being transferred. Of the 2,058 requests from around the world, just over half were fulfilled at least partially.

The report reveals that of the 432 requests for content removal, Turkey sits in the top spot with 186, France in second with 108 and Russia in third with 32 requests for content to be removed. The result of these requests was the withholding of 25 accounts and 251 tweets from various countries around the world.


Twitter said that the number of DMCA copyright takedown requests had increased by 27 percent since its last report to a total of 9,069, of which 76 percent resulted in a takedown. The top five copyright reporters are shown above.

Interestingly, Twitter also noted that there had been an 80 percent increase in the number of DMCA counter takedown notices; this saw the restoration of 100 percent of requests – in this case, 83 tweets.

A waiting game

In addition to providing the updated numbers, Twitter also provided updates about its push to be allowed to increase transparency about the requests it receives from official agencies.

Specifically, as it’s not allowed to publish the actual number of requests it receives from national security agencies, it wants to be allowed to publish small ranges “that will be more meaningful to Twitter’s users, and more in line with the relatively small number of non-national security information requests we receive”, it said. It also wants to be allowed to indicate zero requests, where applicable.

Progress doesn’t seem to be that forthcoming, and now it’s in a limbo of waiting for a response from the Department of Justice about its proposed options.

“At this point, over 90 days have passed, and we still have not received a reply. Therefore, we are weighing our legal options to provide more transparency to our users,” the company said.

➤ Continuing our fight for more #transparency

Featured Image Credit – LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images