Government requests to remove content visible changes

June 2020. Starting with the 2019 reporting period, we provide granular detail on content removal requests by “Requesters” (previously called “Branches”). We also updated the “Removal percentages” chart to publish item-based information.

February, 2020. We corrected the country attribute of a request from South Korea.

September 2019. We updated the Russian federal law 276-FZ chart to provide data on URLs not indexed by Google, URLs delisted, and URLs that did not result in a delisting.

August 2018. We updated data to correct the number of requests and items we received from Canada, Turkey and Vietnam for the July–December 2017 reporting period. 

February 2016. We added back the Turkish annotation previously removed in January with the corrected resolution.

January 2016. January 22nd, 2016: We removed an annotation from government requests to remove content due to an error.

February 2015. We updated our data to include these additional categories:

  • Obscenity/Nudity

We began using these new categories internally in October 2012, so this change retroactively affects reporting periods from July-December 2012 onward.

January 2015. We corrected the compliance rate for government requests for the July-December 2013 reporting period.

December 2013. We added requests from Kosovo for the July–December 2012 reporting period.

April 2013. We corrected the number of requests we received from the Korean Game Rating Board to remove applications from Google Play in the July-December 2011 and January-June 2012 reporting periods.

For the reporting periods of July-December 2010, July-December 2011 and January-June 2012, we updated the number of requests we received based on a court order in an ongoing court case in France and the U.K.

Beginning in October of the July-December 2012 reporting period, we created additional categories to better specify the nature of requests we receive. The additional categories are:

  • Bullying/Harassment

  • Drug Abuse

  • Geographical Dispute

  • Suicide Promotion

  • Reason Unspecified

Beginning with the July-December 2012 time period, we started including data on court orders directed at third parties we've received from European countries to remove content from YouTube. This data was not included in prior reporting periods.

November 2012. For all reporting periods from July–December 2010 onward, we revised the figures to reflect the exact numbers of requests governments have made in cases where we received fewer than 10 requests and fewer than 10 items were requested. The requests are broken down by product and reason.

Beginning with the January–June 2012 reporting period, the number of items requested to be removed that we report for removal requests from AdWords is the number of URLs, ads, or trademarked terms specifically mentioned in those requests. Prior to the January–June 2012 reporting period, the number of items requested to be removed that we reported was the number of ads actually removed in response to the request.

We corrected the request we received from Sri Lanka in the January–June 2011 reporting period, which came from a court, not another government agency.

Starting with the January–June 2012 reporting period, we began including copyright removal requests for YouTube.

June 2012. For all three reporting periods between January 2010–June 2011, we updated the number of requests we received from the Spanish government. We also revised numbers of items requested to be removed for Argentina, Brazil, India and Italy during the January–June 2011 reporting period and added "Trademark" as a new category of removals starting with the July–December 2011 reporting period.

October 2011. We standardized how we categorize content removal requests by reason to better ensure consistency. Significantly fewer content removal requests were categorized as "Other" in the January–June 2011 reporting period as a result of this change.

May 2011. We updated our numbers for China to reflect actual numbers of content removal requests received. Chinese officials consider disclosing the nature of these requests to be state secrets, so we cannot do so at this time.

January 2011. Starting with the January–June 2011 reporting period, our counts of requests to remove content from Google's search products omit cases where the original content is no longer visible on the web, for instance, after the webmaster has removed it. (Such content may remain visible in Google's search index for a while after the original disappears, as a cached copy or search snippet.) A drop in the number of removal requests or the number of items requested to be removed between 2010 and 2011 could be explained by this change—for example in South Korea, where many of our removals in response to government requests are removals of cached copies.

October 2010. We corrected the number of content removal requests that we received from South Korea in the January–June 2010 reporting period.