African governments not following developed world’s lead in exploiting Twitter data requests

New statistics released by Twitter show only one African government, South Sudan, has made any data requests to the popular social media site in the past six months, while the United States has made 815.

The Twitter Transparency Report v2 reveals South Sudan made less than ten requests between July 1 and December 31, 2012, and none were complied with.

The United States government made 815 out of the total 1,009 worldwide requests to the San Francisco-based company, which were complied with 69 percent of the time.

Presenting the information Jeremy Kessel, Manager of Legal Policy at Twitter, said: “We believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression – and real privacy implications.”

HumanIPO reported earlier this month the Kenyan government would be closely monitoring Twitter and Facebook to catch anyone using the networks for inciting hatred or using racial language in the run up to the March elections.

Nigeria meanwhile has already stated they do not plan to regulate social media sites.

The Japanese (62) and Brazilian (34) governments are the second and third most prolific data requesters respectively, while the report also shows there was a 20 percent rise in government requests compared to the first half of 2012.

Posted in: Social Media

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