Between Jan-June 2020 and Jan-June 2019, India's request to remove information and account to Twitter, and legal information requests to Facebook shot up exponentially. The number of hours lost to internet blackout also jumped for the same period.
India's request to Twitter to reveal who operates a specific account spiked by 451%. The government made 2,613 such requests regarding 6,346 accounts, out of which Twitter compiled with just 1% requests.
According to statistics provided by the microblogging site, account removal request also saw a 450% hike. India has made 55,000 account removal requests since 2012, out of which Twitter compiled with 18.8 per cent, reported Times of India.
Rise In Internet Shutdowns
According to UK based organisation, Top10vpn annual report, that calculates the economic impact of every major internet blackout and social media shutdown around the world, India lost nearly $2.8 billion due to 8,927 hours of internet blackouts in 2020. The shutdowns also affected 10.3 million users.
In 2019, India lost approximately $1.3 billion due to the 4,196 hours internet blackout.
To put it in percentage, between 2019 and 2020, there was a 113% rise in the number of hours lost and a 115% rise in economic cost. Globally the internet shutdown cost to be around $4 billion, with India accounting nearly 70 per cent of the total losses.
"India continued to restrict internet access more than any other country – over 75 times in 2020. Most of these short blackouts were highly targeted, affecting groups of villages or individual city districts and so were not included in this report, which focuses on larger region-wide shutdowns. The true economic cost is therefore likely to be even higher than the $2.8 billion we have calculated," Top10vpn said.
A significant amount of the hours for which internet was shut in India was after the abrogation of Article 370. Internet services in Kashmir were shut for over seven months due to security reasons.