By Glenn Chapman | AFP –
Political commentary remains a prime target as governments increase the number of requests for Google to remove material from the reach of Internet users.
The Internet giant on Sunday released its fifth semi-annual Transparency Report providing insights into requests by countries around the world to “take down” content from search results or Google venues such as YouTube.
“Just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech,” Google senior policy analyst Dorothy Chou said.
“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”
The number of requests from the United States doubled in the second half of last year. Ukraine, Jordan and Bolivia showed up for the first time on the list of countries out to have online material removed, according to Google.