Google’s biannual Global Transparency Report comes out today. Part of this latest addition breaks down requests from different countries and individuals in the last half of 2011 to have content yanked off the site.
When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.
The requests range from serious to more benign. Google said it removed about 640 videos from YouTube in the U.K. in the second half because the videos allegedly promoted terrorism. Google declined, however, a request from Canadian authorities to remove a YouTube video of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet.