Our latest Transparency Report provides insight into the nature and extent of government requests we receive for user data and the proactive efforts we’ve taken to protect intellectual property. This year marks 10 years since our first transparency report, which focused on government requests for user data. Over the last decade, we’ve added new reports, such as the Community Standards Enforcement Report (also published today for Q1 2023), which provides data on how we take action against violating content across our platforms.
Government Requests for User Data
During the second half of 2022, global government requests for user data increased 0.8% from 237,414 to 239, 388. The US continues to submit the largest number of requests of that total volume, followed by India, Germany, Brazil, France and the UK.
In the US, we’ve received 64,148 requests — a drop of 7.5% — from the last half of 2022. Non-disclosure orders prohibiting Meta from notifying the user remained stable at 71.1%. Additionally, as a result of transparency updates introduced in the 2016 USA Freedom Act, the US government lifted non-disclosure orders on 10 National Security Letters, which we received between 2016 and 2021. 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.
As part of our commitment to provide users with notice, we applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing the NDO Fairness Act, and urge the Senate to introduce and approve it so that it can be enacted into law. This bill would make important reforms to the law governing the issuance of non-disclosure orders by providing courts with a robust standard for assessing and approving government secrecy requests.
In addition to global requests for government data, we report 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 the second half of 2022, we took down 4,453,696 pieces of content based on 2,764,215 copyright reports; 593,179 pieces of content based on 1,047,326 trademark reports; and 1,712,384 pieces of content based on 180,029 counterfeit reports. We also proactively removed 40,889,752 pieces of content for copyright reasons and 115,670,888 pieces of content for counterfeit reasons.
In our IP report for the first half of 2022, we discovered that our data calculation methodology did not fully account for certain proactive commerce-related enforcement actions taken on Marketplace. This resulted in an undercounting of the total number of proactive counterfeit removals on Facebook for that reporting period. We have reviewed and resolved this issue and adjusted the numbers to reflect those removals. Specifically, we proactively removed 127,178,703 pieces of content for counterfeit reasons in the first half of 2022 (previously reported as 100,222,468).
Protecting people’s intellectual property rights remains a top priority. In January of this year, we launched a website dedicated solely to helping educate people on the way Rights Manager combats infringement on Facebook and Instagram.
Additional Transparency Reports
We are working hard to ensure that we have the systems in place to meet the new transparency requirements of the EU Digital Services Act. To ensure we are providing the most meaningful data possible, we will no longer be publishing data on internet disruptions. We are also pausing the publication of content restrictions we make based on local law this half, though will resume publishing this data in the second half 2023. You can see the full report for more information.