According to data released by social media platforms, Twitter has seen a surge in requests from governments around the world to delete content posted by journalists and news media in 2020.

In its Transparency report A Twitter released on Wednesday stated that the verified accounts of 199 journalists and news media on its platform faced 361 legal requirements from the government in the second half of 2020 to delete content, an increase of 26% over the first half of this year.

As the half-year report on Twitter’s enforcement of policies and rules and the information it receives and removal requests is released, social media companies including Facebook and Alphabet’s YouTube are facing global government scrutiny of the content allowed on their platforms.

According to the report, Twitter eventually deleted 5 tweets from reporters and news publishers. India submitted most of the removal requests, followed by Turkey, Pakistan and Russia.

The social media platform has not previously tracked such data on requests related to journalists or publishers.

According to the report, India topped the list of government information requests in the second half of 2020, surpassing the United States for the first time.

Some countries have taken actions to prohibit or restrict access to social media platforms. On Monday, amid widespread anti-government protests, Cuba began restricting access to messaging apps such as Facebook and Telegram. Last month, Nigeria banned the country’s use of Twitter and ordered television and radio stations not to use the platform to collect information.

The company said that from July 1 to December 31, it received more than 14,500 information requests worldwide and provided some or all of the information based on 30% of the requests.

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Such requests may include requests by governments or other entities to provide the identity of the person who tweeted under the pseudonym.

Twitter also received more than 38,500 legal requests to delete various content, a 9% drop from the first half of 2020, and it met 29% of the requirements.

Twitter has been involved in several conflicts with the country, especially India’s new content regulations on social media. Last week, the company said it had hired an interim chief compliance officer in India and would appoint other executives to comply with the regulations.

In the updated transparency report, Twitter stated that the number of impressions or views of tweets that violate Twitter’s rules accounted for less than 0.1% of the total number of views in the world in the second half of 2020. This is the first time the platform has released such data.

The company said its technology is proactively identifying more than 65% of abusive content for manual review, rather than relying on reports submitted by Twitter users.

Like other social media companies, Twitter has been working hard to regulate hate speech, misinformation, and other abuses in its services. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey was one of the tech leaders who testified before Congress on misinformation in March.

This week, major social media companies came under fire for racist abuse of black players on the English football team on their platforms.

© Thomson Reuters 2021