World’s Number 1: 43% of Censorship in Google Comes from Brazil

President of Google Brazil, Fabio José Silva CoelhoBrazil has a big lead as the country with the most government requests to remove online content by judicial order in the latest Google Transparency Report, released last week.

In the period between July and December 2012, the search giant received 1,461 court-ordered requests from governments around the world to remove content, including YouTube videos and search results, with nearly 43% of them coming from Brazilian authorities.

“The number of content removal requests we received increased by 265% compared to the previous reporting period,” reported Google in its notes on Brazil.

This is not the first time the country has been the leader in government censorship requests, according to past Transparency Reports from Google.

The 2012 elections contributed to the alarming rise, up to 316 requests – almost a half of the total – related to supposed violations of the Brazilian Elections Code. YouTube was the most targeted service for censorship requests.

The judicial route has proven to be the most effective way to censor content critical of Brazilian authorities. In two cases, the president of Google Brazil, Fabio José Silva Coelho, went to jail for refusing to comply with a court order to remove videos a mayoral candidate considered offensive.

“Google removed content in response to 35 final court decisions. Google is exercising its right of appeal provided under Brazilian law in the other cases, on the basis that the content is protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution,” the company explained.

The United States, second on the list, made 262 requests to remove 3,624 items. Google acquiesced to 45% of them. When it came to requesting user information, the US was at the top, with 8,438 requests for information on 14,791 users, of which Google approved 88% of the time, the highest percentage on the list.

A majority of the requests for content removal were related to political criticism. Google’s official blog observed that government attempts to censor content on its platform have increased over the last seven reports.

“In more places than ever, we’ve been asked by governments to remove political content that people post on our services. In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government officials or their associates.”

Argentina was the third country in the Americas with the most content removal requests for Google. In the latest period analyzed, there were 51 requests to remove 160 items, of which 96% were honored.

The report highlighted a request from the Argentine government to remove a YouTube video that supposedly defamed the president “by depicting her in a compromising position.” The video was not removed but there was an age restriction placed on it.

Mercopress

 

Tags:

You May Also Like

PT Gets No Green Backing in Sí£o Paulo, Brazil

They aren’t very big, but the tucanos will be celebrating it as a coup ...

Brazilian Court Allows Gay Couple to Adopt Child

In Brazil, a court from the southeastern state of São Paulo has ruled that ...

Brazilian Market Rebounds Despite Fears That Lula Might Be Tainted by Corruption

Latin American shares mostly rebounded, led by Brazil’s return to positive territory, following a ...

Vote no campaign in Brazilian referendum on banning guns

US Gun Lovers and Haters Watch Closely Brazil Referendum on Guns

This Sunday, Brazil, the 186 million-person country will become the first in the world ...

An Anniversary to (not) Forget

  "The first thing I used to do was to throw the guy in ...

Food Prices Fall in Brazil and President Rousseff Gives a Sigh of Relief

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been helped in her efforts to tame inflation by ...

Brazil and Mercosur Vow to End Foot and Mouth Disease in 5 Years

Mercosur and associate members Chile and Bolivia agreed on a five year plan to ...

Human Rights Groups Urge Federalization of Rural Crimes in Brazil’s Amazon

With the report, "Violation of Human Rights in the Amazon," the Pastoral Land Commission ...

Brazil Confounds the Rich

From now on, the US and other big players of the international trade game ...

Brazil’s Lula Comes in Defense of Chí¡vez in Spat with King Juan Carlos

Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, minimized this Wednesday, November 14, the  significance ...