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IT Rules: Google removed over 11 Mn links in May, June via automated tools


Google removed more than 11 million links using automated detection tools to remove content decreed harmful and posted by Indian users in the months of May and June, its latest IT Rules compliance reports show.

These removal actions include either removing the content or terminating a “bad actor’s” access to a Google service, the company said. It removes content that violates its community guidelines and content policies and includes content such as child sexual abuse material and violent extremist content. 

The IT Rules which came into effect on May 26 mandate companies like Google’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to publish a compliance report every month mentioning the details of complaints received from users on content posted on their platform and the action taken by the company on those complaints. 

Under the rules, the companies also have to reveal the number of specific communication links or parts of information that they removed following proactive monitoring using automated tools. 

“In order to attribute a location to an individual sender or creator, we use data signals such as location of account creation, IP address at the time of video upload and user phone number, as available,” Google said.

Google said it received more than 36,000 complaints from users in India via its designated reporting mechanisms in June and more than 34,000 user complaints in May. A majority of the complaints in both the months pertained to copyright complaints—the most common complaints, especially on YouTube. 

In June, the company removed over 83,000 links from its platforms while in May it removed more than 71,000 links. The removal is higher than the number of complaints registered since a single complaint can flag multiple links. 

Google said that once it receives a complaint, it evaluates that piece of content according to its community guidelines, content and legal policies. “Based on this review, removal action may be taken,” the company said. 

In its April compliance report, Google had received a total of 27,762 complaints from individual users located in India via designated mechanisms and had removed 59,350 individual pieces of content from its platforms.

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