Thailand 16th among Google removal rank

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Thailand has made 1,147 requests for Google to take down content since 2011 with 95.2% related to government criticism — the highest rate in the world.

The information was shown in the latest study by Surfshark, a virtual private network (VPN) firm, which analysed Google’s Transparency Report.

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With a total of 1,147 requests for content removal from Facebook, the country was ranked 16th in the world in terms of the number of requests.

“A massive 95.2% of these requests cite ‘Government Criticism’ as the reason — as an overall percentage, that’s more than any other country,” Surfshark said in a statement.

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For 2020 alone, Thailand saw 184 requests for content removal.

According to Surfshark, Google receives thousands of requests every year from all levels of governments to remove online content, ranging from infringement of intellectual property rights to defamation.

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“Russia is by far the most prolific content removal requester, submitting 123,606 requests in total over the past 10 years,” it said. National security topped the reasons for content removal requests from Russia.

It was trailed by Turkey with 14,231 requests for content removal, India with 9,899 requests and the United States with 9,627 requests, respectively.

These three countries cited defamation as the top reason for content removal requests.

Brazil was in fifth place with 8,148 total requests and South Korea in sixth with 5,330 requests.

According to Surfshark, six of the 10 nations that made the most requests have cited defamation as the most common reason.

The company said defamation is the most prevalent cause for requests with EU residents being able to request certain results be omitted from Google Search as part of the “right to be forgotten”.

The US government makes thousands of defamation-related takedown requests each year and many of these are aimed at altering search results, it added.

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