India also made the second highest number of content restriction requests after France.
It was ‘anti-religious’ and ‘hate speech’ content that topped the list of things that Facebook restricted in India during the second half of 2015.
The majority of the content that was restricted in India on Facebook between July and December 2015 was “alleged anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India,” the social networking giant said in a report.
The revelation is part of Facebook’s latest Global Government Requests Report. It is a broader effort to reform government surveillance in countries around the world by providing more transparency, the California-based company said.
“We restricted access in India to categories of content in response to legal requests from government agencies, including law enforcement agencies. We also restricted access to content in categories these agencies have identified as illegal that have been brought to our attention by non-government entities, such as NGOs and members of the Facebook community,” it said.
India also made the second highest number of content restriction requests after France, which saw an unusual number of requests after the terror attack in November.
Out of the 37,695 pieces of content restricted in France, 32,100 were instances of a single image related to the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that allegedly violated French laws related to the protection of human dignity, Facebook said.
The number of pieces of content in India restricted during the period stood at 14,971. So, it’s safe to say if the Paris terror attack hadn’t happened, the highest number of requests would have come from India.
India is Facebook’s second largest market in term of users after the US.
“Facebook does not provide any government with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s data. We scrutinize each request for user data we receive for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary,” Facebook emphasised in the report.