Map: The Countries With the Most Google Take-Down Requests

A partnership of Slate and the New America Foundation.
Nov. 29 2012 10:00 AM

Map: Which Countries Police the Internet the Most?

Google take-down requests by country.

Take-down Requests
Google's Compliance

Internet experts at a Future Tense event this week are questioning how the Internet should be governed. But to what degree have nations already imposed their rule on the Internet?

Google releases twice-yearly transparency reports describing requests for Google to remove content, mostly because of defamation, privacy, or security concerns. As the map above shows, Google received nearly 2,000 requests from more than 50 countries to strike content from its websites in the first half of this year. Turkey is the most vigorous meddler. Among other efforts, Turkey requested that Google strike more than 400 YouTube videos that criticized the Turkish government.

The U.S. ranks second. Most of its 273 requests are court orders, many of which relate to defamation lawsuits against individuals or organizations.

Because Google is beholden to the laws of each country, Google’s legal constraints determine its compliance. According to Google’s website, it does not always comply with a request. Some orders are falsified. In other cases, it can’t find the described content to take it down.

For more on Internet governance, tune in to the Future Tense event today, streaming live from 9 a.m. to noon on the New America website.

Correction, Nov. 29, 2012: Because of a production error, the text on this map originally referred to a previous project.

Nick McClellan is web production manager of NewAmerica.net.