Today, we are releasing our latest Transparency Report for the first half of 2022.
As always, we strive to be open about the ways we protect users’ privacy, security and access to information online. That’s why we publish biannual transparency reports to provide detail on the numbers and maintain accountability in our work. Over the years, we’ve expanded our report to include the volume of content restrictions based on local law, the number of global internet disruptions that limit access to our products and, most recently, our proactive efforts to protect intellectual property. Additionally, our Transparency Report includes the Community Standards Enforcement Report for Q3 of 2022, which provides data on how we take action against violating content across our platforms.
Government Requests for User Data
During the first six months of 2022, global government requests for user data increased 10.5% from 214,777 to 237,414. Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, Germany, Brazil, France and the UK.
In the US, we received 69,363 requests, which was 15.6% more than the total we received in the second half of 2021. Non-disclosure orders prohibiting Meta from notifying the user increased slightly by 0.6% to 71.1% in the first half of 2022. In addition, as a result of transparency updates introduced in the 2016 USA Freedom Act, the US government lifted the non-disclosure orders on three National Security Letters we received between 2016 and 2019. These requests, along with the US government’s authorization letters, are available below.
As we have said in prior reports, we always scrutinize every government request we receive to make sure it is legally valid, no matter which government makes the request. We comply with government requests for user information only where we have a good-faith belief that the law requires us to do so. In addition, we assess whether a request is consistent with internationally recognized standards on human rights, including due process, privacy, free expression and the rule of law. When we do comply, we only produce information that is narrowly tailored to that request. If we determine that a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back and will fight in court, if necessary. We do not provide governments with “back doors” to people’s information. For more information about how we review and respond to government requests for user data and the safeguards we apply, please refer to our FAQs.
When content is reported as violating local law, but doesn’t go against our Community Standards, we may limit access to that content in the country where the local violation is alleged. During this reporting period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law increased globally 75% from 50,959 in H2 2021 to 89,368 in H1 2022.
We oppose shutdowns, throttling and other disruptions of internet connectivity and we remain concerned by the trend towards this approach in some countries. Even temporary disruptions of internet services can undermine human rights and economic activity. That’s why we report the number of deliberate internet disruptions caused by governments around the world that impact the availability of our products. In the first half of 2022, we identified 64 disruptions of Facebook services in 15 countries, compared to 38 disruptions in 12 countries in the second half of 2021.
Finally, we report on the volume and nature of copyright, trademark and counterfeit reports we receive each half as well as our proactive actions against potential piracy and counterfeits. In H1 2022, we took down 4,790,449 pieces of content based on 1,720,846 copyright reports; 700,736 pieces of content based on 285,331 trademark reports; and 2,509,130 pieces of content based on 112,614 counterfeit reports. We also proactively removed 36,221,125 pieces of content for copyright reasons and 103,308,131 pieces of content for counterfeit reasons.
Protecting people’s intellectual property rights remains a top priority. By early 2023 we’ll be launching a website dedicated solely to helping educate people on the way Rights Manager combats infringement on Facebook and Instagram.
We continue to further our commitment to transparency. You can see the full report for more information.