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India second only to UK in seeking user data in 2018, says Reditt

Sachin P Mampatta/Mumbai 14 Feb 19 | 11:50 AM

Social media platform Reddit revealed that the Indian government had sought information on four users during 2018. This is the second-highest number of such requests from foreign governments. The United Kingdom ranked higher with five requests. India ranks second along with Germany, which also had four such requests.

The previous year saw one request from the Indian government for account information. It had also made four requests for removal of content from the social media platform that ranks among the most popular websites in the United States.

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Reddit is the sixth most-visited website in the United States, ahead of others including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Netflix; shows data from analytics website Alexa.  It prepares an annual transparency report, the data from which suggests that the site seeks to strike a balance between acceding to government requests when required and preserving user privacy when possible.

“In 2018, Reddit received 28 requests for the production of user account information from foreign governmental authorities (excluding emergency requests). Reddit did not comply with any of these requests," said the report.

It also talks about non-governmental requests for removal of content. There was one foreign non-governmental removal request from India. Data from the report suggests it was over defamation.

“Reddit also receives many requests to remove content from private parties. Most of these requests can be evaluated under the Content Policy, but sometimes the request contains a formal legal demand that the content be removed because it violates the law in a non-US country," it said.

It received 65 such requests in 2018.  It complied with ten of them in whole or partially. The content was removed on seven occasions, one of which involved a request from India. Further information was not available in the report.

Overall, the platform received 581 requests to produce user information from the United States and other countries. This is a 151 per cent increase over the previous year.

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