HYDERABAD: ‘Religious offence’ was the most popular reason cited by government agencies in India to get content on Google removed. However, most of these requests were denied on various grounds. Google allows requests for removal of content on any of its websites, such as Google Search, Drive, Google Play and YouTube, if the content is defamatory, suspicious, or if one has other issues with it.
According to a Google report, between July and December 2018, as many as 404 requests were made by government agencies to remove content because it was found to be offensive to religions. This figure amounted to 31% of all requests.For instance, Google said it got a request from an “Indian government authority to remove three Youtube videos that depicted a crowd gathering around a truck with a dead cow, allegedly killed by Muslims”. The videos were removed as they violated YouTube’s guidelines.
Defamation accounted for 24% of all requests. Google received a request from the police to remove a blog post with content, including photos, on a politician’s sex scandal. “We did not remove the content... as the subjects of the blog post were not identifiable,” Google said.
“There are many reasons we may not have removed content in response to a request. Some requests may not be specific enough... others involve allegations of defamation through informal letters from government agencies, rather than court orders,” Google said in a report.