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  • Facebook received 35,560 requests from the Government of India for user data during the first half (January-June) of 2020 — the second highest globally, according to the latest Transparency Report published by the firm.
  • This is an increase of over 33% from the 26,698 queries in the second half (July-December) of 2019, and 57% higher than the 22,684 requests during January-June 2019.
  • Of the 35,360 requests for 57,294 users or accounts, Facebook said some data was produced in 50% of the cases. 
  • The company scrutinised every government request to make sure it was legally valid. Facebook did not provide governments with direct access or “back doors” to people’s information. In the first six months of 2020, government requests for user data globally increased 23% from 1,40,875 to 1,73,592. Of the total volume, the U.S. continued to submit the largest number of requests (61,528), followed by India, Germany (11,211), France (11,086), the U.K. (9,185), Brazil (7,517), Turkey (6,171) and Poland (4,572).

Hate speech

  • The social network giant also released its report for ‘community standards enforcement’, November 2020. It said it had included in the report the prevalence of hate speech on its platform globally for the first time.
  • “In Q3 2020, hate speech prevalence was 0.10% – 0.11% or 10 to 11 views of hate speech for every 10,000 views of content,” Guy Rosen, vice-president of integrity at Facebook, said in a separate post.
  • As per available data, in Q3, 2020 (July-September) 2020, the company took action on 22.1 million pieces of content on Facebook for hate speech, of which 94.7% was found and flagged by it before users reported the content. Additionally, it acted on 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content on Instagram during the quarter.
  • The company acted on 19.2 million pieces of violent and graphic content on Facebook, 12.4 million pieces of child nudity and sexual exploitation content on Facebook, 1 million pieces of child nudity and sexual exploitation content on Instagram, 3.5 million pieces of bullying and harassment content on Facebook.

Internet disruptions

  • As per the data shared by Facebook, in the first half of 2020, it witnessed about 53 instances of Internet disruptions affecting its services in 10 countries. India continued to top the list, accounting for 79% or 42 disruptions. The total duration in India was 38 weeks, three days and 19 hours.
  • The 42 instances detailed for places in India where Facebook said it saw service disruption include for 47 weeks, 1 day, and 20 hours in Jammu and Kashmir, August 5, 2019, onwards; four days and nine hours in North 24 Parganas, and West Bengal; 13 hours in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; six days and 15 hours in Murshidabad, Malda, South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Birbhum, Jalpaiguri, and Cooch Behar Districts, West Bengal; five days and eight hours in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh; and five days and 16 hours in East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills Districts, Meghalaya.