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The government is making fewer Facebook data requests, but more are being granted

While the number of requests made by the Irish government has fallen, the percentage of requests where some data is revealed has risen.

Image: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Updated 5.30pm

MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS of requests made by the Irish government to Facebook in the second half of the year resulted in some data being produced.

Of the 34 requests made between July 2014 and December 2014, 70.59% of them resulted in some data being produced and shared with the government. 34 users/accounts were requested during this period.

The number of requests made is down from the first half of the year (January – June 2014) where 54 requests were made and 50 users/accounts were involved. Of those requests, 61.61% resulted in some data being produced.

The figures are part of Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report for the second half of 2014, which shows the number of requests it receives from governments from around the world.

The company said it continues to see “an increase in government requests for data and content restriction” globally.

Clarifying guidelines

Alongside the data requests, Facebook has released a longer version of its community guidelines and clarify its position on issues such as hate speech, nudity and violent and graphic content.

No new policies or changes have been made to the community guidelines, with Facebook’s head of global policy product Monika Bickert telling Re/Code the company wanted to clarify its position on issues that may have been vague in the past.

Of the topics addressed, some nudity is allowed as long as it is for artistic reasons or for awareness campaigns, but will remove images that are pornographic or are “focusing in on fully exposed buttocks.” It also states that people use their “authentic name” when signing up to the service as it ensures its “community is more accountable.

Facebook has been criticised for its stance on a number of topics. Back in October, it apologised to drag queens and members of the transgender community for requiring them to use their real names or set up a separate page on the site. It was also criticised for removing breastfeeding images from the site but reversed its decision.


Facebook Community Standards from Facebook on Vimeo.

First published 10.30am

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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