Russia leads in the number of content removal requests on Google.

Over 10 years, governments in 150 countries have asked Google to remove content a total of 355,000 times, with Russia accounting for two-thirds of the requests and South Korea not far behind.

According to new research from Surfshark, Russia has sent 215,000 requests to Google over 10 years to remove content from its platforms, which amounts to about 59 requests per day.

“This means that Google could hire someone to handle Russian content removal on a full-time basis,” the researchers said.

Only six countries made more than 10,000 requests, accounting for more than 85% of the total, the study said.

Russia is followed by South Korea with 27,000 requests, or seven requests per day. India is in third place (20,000), followed by Turkey (19,000) and Brazil (12,000). The US rounds out the top six with 11,000 queries, or three queries per day.

Google is blocked in heavily censored countries such as China (1,261 requests), Iran (2 requests) and North Korea (none), which may explain the lack of interest from the authorities in these countries.

YouTube, a video platform owned by Google, was the most frequent target of government requests for content removal, with 175,000 requests.

It is followed by Google Search (104 thousand) and Blogger (17 thousand). In total, governments have requested content removal from 50 different Google products, including images and maps, according to Surfshark.

“However, it’s worth noting that two-thirds (104 of the 150 countries analyzed) made fewer than 100 requests over 10 years. This means that requests from most countries are quite rare,” the researchers noted in their blog post.

Violations of local laws and court-ordered evidence are often cited as reasons for content removal requests. Governments also often ask Google to remove political content, citing defamation, privacy or copyright laws.

National security is the most cited reason, accounting for 27% of all requests. Requests from Russia for national security reasons make up the majority of requests in this category.

“It is also largely responsible for the huge (over 300%) increase in such requests in 2022,” the study says, pointing to the year Russia’s so-called military operation in Ukraine began.

Russia has dominated the list since 2014, when it took back the Crimean peninsula. Before that, it was not even in the top three, the study notes, and in 2013, the country with the most content removal requests was Turkey.

In 2022, Russian authorities asked Google to remove a site documenting civilian casualties in Ukraine, as well as YouTube videos and comments related to Russia’s partial military mobilization, are some examples cited by Surfshark.

“In addition, the Russian government is trying to control citizens’ perceptions of its partner country, China. For example, there are known cases where the Russian government has requested the removal of URLs leading to Wikipedia articles on Xi Jinping,” the study said.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
cyberdir - is your ultimate destination for cutting-edge cybersecurity
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: