Google receives most content removal requests from Brazilian Govt

In recent times Google’s tussle with China over content censorship has evoked considerable interest the world over (Just to remind, Google ended censorship of local search results in China; the action the Chinese government didn’t like).

As expected people took sides according to their think process and joined the debate. But it seems, Google still feels the pain of the tussle.

In its bid to shed more light on how and when it removes data, the company has recently revealed a new Web tool—which offers summary of requests the search giant received from various Governments, in the period between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009, regarding removal of content from Google’s services, or provide information about users of Google’s services and products. Interestingly, the tool doesn’t give summary about China.

Brazilian Government tops the list of government, asking Google Inc to remove content from its services or provide some specific information.

The top ten content requesters are as follows:

1) Brazil_______________3663
2) United States_________3580
3) India________________1061
4) France_______________846
5) Italy_________________550
6) Germany_____________458
7) Spain________________324
8) Australia_____________155
9) Argentina____________ 98
10) Poland_________86

The requests for content or its removal are driven by factors which are both global and country specific in nature. Like in the case of Brazil, the requests are largely driven by alleged impersonation and defamation on Google’s orkut social network. For Germany the requests relate to Nazi paraphernalia and Holocaust denial.

Regarding India, most requests have Orkut connection too.

If one looks at the list of the top ten countries, one will find that countries are requesting content or demanding content removal because of many factors, which can be explained as follows:

1) Geographical strategic location: Countries like united Brazil, India (China, though not included in the list) are making requests as they either are or think themselves to be situated at some strategic position.

2) Authoritative regimes: Countries like China; and to some extent other communist countries like Italy, Argentina, Poland etc.

3) Terrorism and internal separatist movements.

4) To uphold human rights: In most democracies.

You can find the Google request summary page here(click on the removal requests to see the number of requests for content removal from the listed countries). --------

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