Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) released a report recently, where it informed about the rising requests from the government agencies for blocking of content. The Social networker told that it honored the requests by restricting access to around 5,000 pieces of content from India in the first half of 2014.
Governments across the world make requests to Facebook for the user data, individual accounts and content restrictions, and on the same a report is compiled by the company, known as “Government Requests Report,” which is an aggregation of all such requests received by it.
India leads in regulating content
The Government Requests Report had a page for India, where it was said, “We restricted access in India to a number of pieces of content reported primarily by law enforcement officials and the India Computer Emergency Response Team under local laws prohibiting criticism of a religion or the state.”
As many as 83 countries are listed on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s report with 4,960 registered requests coming from India for the regulation of content, which is the highest. The second highest number of requests came from Turkey, which was 1,893 and third highest from Pakistan at 1,173.
Maximum number of requests for access to user accounts was received from the U.S. that asked to track 23,667 accounts and the second highest came from India with 5,958 requests.
India a big market for Facebook
India is a huge market for the social networking giant with over 100 million users, and this makes it the second-largest market after the U.S. India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a vision of connecting remote villages to the Internet, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to help him achieve this as indicated by him on his visit to India in October.
While India always had a tradition of allowing its people free speech with a vibrant media industry, but same is not with the cyber space, which is governed by laws that are of restrictive in nature, and hence have come under public scrutiny. Two years back a local hardline politician died, and following this Mumbai, the financial hub of India, was shutdown, which was criticized by two young women through a post made by them on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). They were arrested by police and it led to an outrage and fierce debate over the Indian internet laws.