Facebook brings transparency, reveals India seeking details of 17,262 accounts


After the Cambridge Analytica controversy, government requests for account data of Facebook users have witnessed a sudden rise compared to previous years and request from Indian government stood highest after the US.

In a transparency report released Tuesday, Facebook revealed that globally, governments sought details of 82,341 Facebook accounts in 2018, a 4 per cent increase compared to the first half of 2017.

Of the total numbers, the Indian government alone sought the details of 17,262 users of the social media platform.

The social media giant, however, assured users to protect their rights and stated that each government request for account data is scrutinized to ensure the legal validity. If a request doesn’t meet the legal criteria, it is pushed back.

Facebook has also begun a crackdown on contents transgressing the community guidelines of the page, including graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam and fake accounts.

It has deactivated 583 million fake accounts detected in the first quarter of 2018. The company claimed it detected 98.5 per cent of fake accounts created in the first three months of this year.

Facebook also introduced the rising capacity of its artificial intelligence which was able to detect 95.8 per cent of nude and sexual content even before it was flagged by a user. It took down 20.9 million such posts in Q1 of 2018.

Similarly, posts related to terrorist propaganda, hate speech and graphic violence were also taken down by the platform.

Facebook has become more alert after the recent controversy when data of millions of users were compromised and ended up with a data firm Cambridge Analytica which used it to manipulate voting decisions of voters.

The social media company, however, showed concerns over disruption of its services in various countries. There were 46 disruptions of Facebook services in 12 countries in the second half of 2017, compared to 52 disruptions in nine countries in the first half, according to Facebook.

In a recent report by UNESCO, India tops the list when it comes to Internet shutdown, an intentional disruption of the Internet service to control communication or online content or slowing down the access to the general public.

The development was first reported by ET.

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