Pakistan Has Sent the Highest Number of Content Censorship Requests in 2019

Facebook’s Transparency Report 2019 is out which states Pakistan has sent the highest number of content restriction requests to the leading social media .

As per the report, Facebook blocked 5,690 pages, posts, and other content on the request of the Pakistan government between January and June 2019. This is the highest number of requests sent by any country in the world, followed by Mexico with 4,727 content restrictions.

The transparency report mentions that Pakistan’s regulatory actions on Facebook increased by more than 30 percent during the first half of 2019 as compared to 4,174 in the last half of 2018.

A breakdown of the report highlights that the leading social media platform took down 5,376 posts, 128 pages and groups, six profiles, and two comments in the first six months of the current year.

On Instagram – a photo and sharing platform also owned by Facebook – a total of 171 posts and seven profiles were restricted.

Facebook says it acted against the items on the requests made by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) because they “allegedly violated local laws prohibiting blasphemy, anti-judiciary content, defamation, and condemnation of the country’s independence.”

Upon a routine review, Facebook found that it restricted 17 items by mistake during the said period.

“11 of those items should have been deleted for violating the Community Standards while we should not have taken any action against six items. We have corrected these mistakes,” it said in its report.

Request for Users’ Data

As per the report, the government of Pakistan has also increased the demand for user data by 5.3 percent.

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The country made 1,752 such demands in the second half of 2018 while the number grew to 1,849 in the January-June 2019. Facebook says 51 percent of these requests were treated as per applicable laws.

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