Semi-Raw Data: Top Ten Countries by Twitter Removal Requests

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The number of official requests to remove Twitter content is growing fast. In the first half of 2015, Twitter received 1,013 requests. In the second half they received four times as many, 4,618. This includes removal requests from both court orders and government agencies.

So which country is most active at censoring Twitter? In absolute numbers, Turkey is the winner by a mile, with 2,211 requests in the second half of 2015. Recep Tayyip Erdo?an really, really doesn’t like to be insulted.

But if you adjust for number of Twitter users, Turkey comes in second. I had to guess at the number of Twitter users in Mongolia, but even guessing conservatively they amassed an impressive 555 removal requests per million Twitter users. I’m not sure what that’s all about.

Among Western countries, France is the leader by a bunch, with 47 removal requests per million users. The US and Britain, which have high absolute numbers thanks to their very high Twitter usage, clock in at a fairly modest 2.5 requests per million Twitter users.

Take these numbers with a big grain of salt. First off, it’s hard to get good data on Twitter users per country. I think I’m in the right ballpark, but there are definitely some large error bars on this data. Second, removal requests don’t have to be aimed only at a country’s own Twitter users. Countries like the US and France likely have a fairly worldwide approach to this sort of thing.

Still, this gives you at least a rough idea of which countries are most active at trying to remove both Twitter accounts and individual tweets. Comments?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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