Facebook saw their overall data requests remain nearly the same throughout 2014, but that report shows a significant drop off in requests from the United States and the United Kingdom. Interestingly though, and somewhat unsurprisingly, the data requests soared in places like Turkey – where requests to have data taken down or restricted doubled in 2014. The data actually revealed that the requests in Turkey sharply increased, and now the country accounts for 30% of the total requests that had been submitted globally.
Facebook said from its pressroom, regarding Turkey, that “We restricted access to items primarily reported by the Turkish courts (and Access Providers Union) and Telecommunications Authority under local law 5651, which covers a range of offenses including defamation of [founder of the Turkish republic Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk, personal rights violations and personal privacy.” Turkey though has been a challenging nation for Facebook to work with because of the profound levels of restriction that the country does put on their users and content.
Facebook also revisited the rules and regulations that the social network puts fourth with their users. They pointed out that for content that is deemed inappropriate for any reason – that they will not be removing the content entirely – but rather limited the audience, or restricting who can see it. Facebook did point out that they are not in the business of screening content, or over policing content. In fact, the company pointed out in a post that they would “continue to push governments around the world” to change the way they police security on Facebook.
Facebook said that “ensuring” their users “rights and freedoms” is important for the company as a whole. However, Turkey wasn’t the only offender of frequent requests to have content removed. India came in second-place and accounted for 5,473 of the total requests that were made in the final six months of the year. Facebook did reserve the specifics of the data restrictions that were acted on, and requested – which is a good thing for both Facebook and the countries being talked about since restricting content never works well in the public eye. The move though for Facebook to take a more rigid approach to dealing with these data requests is something the company has done in accordance with building a better set of rules for users to follow.