The Electronic Frontier Foundation examines major tech companies’ content moderation policies in the midst of massive government pressure to censor, assessing companies annually in their "Who Has Your Back" report.
This metric focuses on the company's Transparency About Legal Takedown Requests. To earn a star (Yes) in this category, the service provider must regularly publish records of government requests for takedowns based on claims of legal violations, for instance, in its transparency report. This should include, at a minimum, the information necessary to determine:
- the number of requests received,
- the country from which the request originated,
- the number of requests acted upon and/or the number of posts removed or restricted or accounts suspended, and
- for service providers reporting on multiple products/platforms, the product/platform associated with the requested content or account.
Takedown requests include requests to restrict public access to a post, including geographic limitation, and account suspensions that limit access to posts for a period of time.
Reporting must distinguish legal takedown requests from platform policy takedown requests.
A request is categorized as a “government request” if it is provided through official channels (such as an order issued by a competent judicial authority); if the requestor identifies themselves as a government official or relies upon their governmental position or authority; or if the provider otherwise is aware a government is being represented in the request.
If the service provider is restricted by applicable law from disclosing the request, it may delay including the request until that restriction is lifted and still get credit in this category.
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