India with 55,497 requests was once again second only to the US in terms of asking Meta to provide user data in the first half of this year, and the social network restricted access in India to 597 items in response to directions from the IT Ministry in the reporting period.
In the second half of 2021, India made 50,382 requests to Meta for user data.
According to Meta, access to 597 items was restricted for violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including content against the security of the state and public order.
Meta also restricted six items in response to directions from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for violating Rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
“We restricted access in India to 23 items reported by the Election Commission of India relating to electoral complaints under the Indian Penal Code, Representation of the People Act, including spreading candidate misinformation and promoting sectarian violence,” Meta said in its latest transparency report.
Of these, 19 items were restricted only temporarily (during the designated blackout period) in the country.
“We also restricted access to 71 items due to other court orders, to 13 items for IP infringement, and to two items in response to private reports of defamation,” said the company.
As the Centre notified amendments in new IT Rules, 2021 to put more obligations on social media platforms, Meta took down over 30.7 million pieces of bad content across 13 policies for Facebook and over 3 million pieces of such content across 12 policies for Instagram in India in September.
According to Meta, during the first six months of 2022, global government requests for user data increased 10.5 per cent from 214,777 to 237,414.
Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, Germany, Brazil, France and the UK.
“In the US, we received 69,363 requests, which was 15.6 per cent more than the total we received in the second half of 2021,” said Meta.
During this reporting period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law increased globally 75 per cent from 50,959 in the second half of 2021 to 89,368 in the first half of 2022.
“In the first half of 2022, we identified 64 disruptions of Facebook services in 15 countries, compared to 38 disruptions in 12 countries in the second half of 2021,” Meta said.
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