Digital Media

Governments keep DM'ing Twitter for information requests

The pace of information requests slowed in the first half of 2016, but Twitter is still busy handling government inquiries.

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Twitter's logo is displayed on a computer screen. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Governments around the world are keeping Twitter busy.

During the first half of the year, the micro-blogging service received a total 5,676 requests for information about accounts. That's 2.1 percent more requests than in the previous six-month period.

The US accounted for 2,520 requests, followed by Japan (732), the UK (631) and France (572). In 69 percent of the cases, Twitter produced some information.

Twitter called the increase in requests "modest compared to previous reports," which often showed double-digit rises. It said the relatively small increase was likely caused by fewer requests from the US and Turkey during the period.

Twitter said the requests came from a range of government agencies, including law enforcement. The social network notifies users about request for information about their account unless the company is prohibited from doing so or the request concerns imminent threat to life, terrorism and other emergency exceptions.

In a breakdown of US data, Twitter said California, New York and Virginia made the most state requests. The FBI, Secret Service and the New York County District Attorney's Office were the top requesters.

The information is part of Twitter's transparency report, which it has published since 2012.