From January To June 2021, Indonesia Had The Most Items Requested To Be Removed From Google


Google is a company that has operations around the world.

As the most ubiquitous search engines, the company has to follow the laws where it is conducting its business, or risk having its operations restricted, or worse, like being kicked out and not permitted to operate.

Google has to obey the laws, and it's these laws that can affect the availability of content across Google products and services.

Google allows courts and government agencies around the world to regularly send requests to it to remove information from Google products.

"We review these requests closely to determine if content should be removed because it violates a law or our product policies. In this report, we disclose the number of requests we receive in six-month periods," said Google.

Google discloses these reports on its Transparency Report, which is frequently updated, "in an effort to inform discussions about online content regulation."

Google's Transparency Report
Screenshot of the PDF file provided by Google on its Transparency Report, showing only Indonesia.

And this time, according to Google's Transparency Report on government requests to remove content, Indonesia is ranked at 10th position when it comes to the number of requests made, accounting to 362 times from January to June 2021.

Among them, 358 were requested by Indonesia's Information and Communications Authority, 2 were made from court orders directly to Google, 1 from a court order from a third party, and 1 was unspecified.

However, the country ranks first in terms of the number of content items requested to be removed, with more than 250,000 items.

This is far more than Russia which comes at second place, which has had a little more than 200,000 items removed.

After Russia, the remaining top 10 countries that had requested the most items to be removed from Google include Kazakhstan, Pakistan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, the U.S., Turkey, and Brazil.

"We receive content removal requests through a variety of avenues and from all levels of government — court orders, written requests from national and local government agencies, and requests from law enforcement professionals," said Google.

"Sometimes users will forward us government removal requests, such as when someone attaches a court order showing certain content to be illegal. Some requests ask for the removal of multiple pieces of content, and, conversely, there may be multiple requests that ask for the removal of the same piece of content."

Upon receiving requests, Google assess the legitimacy and completeness of the requests.

While Google usually complies with governments' and courts' orders, sometimes, the company doesn't do what it is told.

"There are many reasons why we may not remove content," said Google.

"For example, some requests might not be specific enough for us to know what the government wants us to remove. In these cases, we ask for more information. Other times, we don’t take action because the content has already been removed by the content owner. Sometimes we even receive requests to remove content 'from the Internet.'"