Google released its ninth transparency report today, revealing 3,105 government requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content during the period spanning June to December of 2013.
That brings the total number of requests for 2013 to 6,591, up 60.7 percent from 2012.
Though removal requests are up overall from the year prior, the latest numbers show a decrease in removal requests from the first half of 2013, which reached an all-time high of 3,846 requests. Removal requests had been steadily on the rise since December 2011. This is the first time Google noted a decrease in that number.
Google blamed the massive spike in requests during the first half of 2013 on a large number of inquiries out of Turkey related to unrest there.
However, removal requests are not on the decline for everyone. Google saw a 25 percent increase in content removal requests from Russia during the second half of 2013. Thailand and Italy also requested more removal requests during this period.
The majority of content that governments seek to remove are blog posts. Governments asked for the removal of 1,066 blog posts in the last six months of 2013. Search content and YouTube videos were also popular requests, making up 841 and 765 of the total requests, respectively. Defamation was the main reason cited for removal requests, comprising 40 percent of requests.
In addition to new stats, Google gave its transparency report a bit of a makeover. In addition to a sleeker look, Google has added actual examples of removal requests, which can be seen here.
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