Google publishes first monthly transparency report in line with new guidelines

Published on Jun 30, 2021 02:54 PM IST

The guidelines mandate significant social media intermediaries with over five million users such as YouTube to disclose the number of complaints they have received and what action has been taken

Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj

Google has published its first monthly transparency report in line with the new social media and intermediary guidelines. The guidelines mandate significant social media intermediaries with over five million users such as YouTube to disclose the number of complaints they have received and what action has been taken.

According to the report covering the period from April 1 to April 30, Google said it received 27,726 complaints. “The number reflects the total number of complaints received from individual users located in India via designated mechanisms during the one-month reporting period,” Google said in the report. “These complaints relate to third-party content that is believed to violate local laws or personal rights on Google’s SSMI platforms. This data also includes individual user complaints accompanied by a court order.”

Also Read | Google restores services of YouTube, Gmail after several users face outage

Of the complaints, 92% or 26,707 related to copyright infringement and the rest to the trademark (357 or 1.3%), defamation (275 or 1.0%), etc. Nearly 98.4% of the action taken was regarding copyright infringement and 58,391 URLs were taken down.

Google has sought two months to submit a more granular report with data on how the removal took place. “To allow sufficient time for data processing and validation, there will be a two-month lag for reporting,” the report said. “In future reports, data on removals as a result of automated detection, as well as data relating to impersonation and graphic sexual content complaints received post May 25, 2021, will be included.”

Google said it is committed to making improvements in the upcoming iterations of the report based on feedback from all stakeholders, including by providing more granular data. It became the first significant social media intermediary to make the disclosure regarding the complaints sought under the new rules.

Facebook has said it will submit its interim report on July 2. A more detailed report will follow on July 15.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has challenged the traceability clause of the guidelines, which mandates the identification of the first originator of messages. News websites such as thewire.in have also challenged the section of the guidelines covering digital news.

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