First transparency report under the new IT rules published by Google

Under the new Information Technology rules 2021 (guidelines for intermediaries and digital media ethics code), Google has published its first transparency report. According to the report, a total of  27,762 complaints were received by Google for April followed by the number of removals standing at 59,350. Any such content that violates the community guidelines local legal requirements or product policies of Google, gets removed by the search giant.

As per the new IT rules, a monthly report is required to be published by social media intermediaries such as Google, Facebook etc on the action taken on user complaints which they have received. Coming into effect from May the rules were notified in February 2021.

While in every six months since 2009, Google has been publishing the details as a separate report, it should be noted that the mentioned number of requests excludes the number of other government requests for content removal.

There shall be a two month lag for reporting to allow sufficient time for data processing and validation, as noted by Google’s report under the IT rules. Data relating to impersonation and graphic sexual content complaints received after 25th May 2021, as a result of automated detection, the existing report does not include any data on removals.

The number of removals is higher than total complaints as each unique URL in a specific complaint is considered an individual item, as specified by Google.

Several 58,391 items which constitute 98% of the content removal was with regards to copyright while the rest of the categories were trademarks which consist of 931 items, circumvention: 13, counterfeit: 7 definition: 7 and other legal: 1.

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