Russia has come out on top of a ranking of government requests to have online content removed or blocked, according to Google’s latest Transparency Report.
Last year, the Russian authorities filed more than 13,000 requests with the search engine to have online content on Google platforms removed, including on YouTube.
Compared to 2015, the number of requests from the Russian authorities increased by 478 percent. Most were received in the second half of 2016, the report shows.
Russia’s contribution was more than half of the total number of requests received by Google from all other countries’ governments combined.
According to the Transparency Report, 85 percent of the Russian requests cited “national security,” five percent “government criticism,” and 2 percent “the promotion of suicide" as concerns.
Google blocked or deleted 74 percent of the material flagged by Russian government agencies, including 160 YouTube videos.