As the internet penetration is growing in India, so the job of Google. As everyone now has an access to Google, the number of fake or duplicate content has also increased over the last few years. Therefore, Google has made a few strict policies in order to combat the harmful content and deliver high-quality, reliable information to all its users worldwide. Every month, Google receives a significant number of complaints from its users, and the search giant removes content that violates its community guidelines, content policies, or local legal requirements.
Every month, Google publishes the transparency report in accordance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“IT Rules”).
In the month of July 2021, Google received a total of 36,934 complaints from individual users located in India. Surprisingly, the number of complaints from India in the last 3 months has gone up by 33%. In April 2021, Google received only 27,762 complaints from the country. These complaints are classified into several categories such as Copyright, Trademark, Defamation, Counterfeit, Impersonation, Circumvention, Graphic Sexual Content, Other Legal, etc.
Please note that these complaints relate to third-party content that is believed to violate local laws or personal rights on Google’s SSMI (Significant Social Media Intermediaries) platforms. A “Significant Social Media Intermediary,” as defined in the IT Rules, is a social media intermediary with a number of registered users in India that exceeds a particular threshold set by the Central Government.
Google Sets A New Record
Google’s removal of harmful content has significantly increased in the last three months. In April 2021, the search giant removed 59,350 pieces of content in India. Surprisingly, this figure has increased over 61% in just three months.
In July 2021, Google has removed a total of 95,680 pieces of content based on users’ complaints – the highest number ever. A whopping 99.1% of these removals, totalling 94,862 items, were related to Copyright content. Trademark stands at second, with 0.8% or 807 pieces of content removed during the last month.
Now you must be wondering why are there significantly more removal actions taken compared to the number of user complaints received by Google? Well, the search giant explained in the transparency report that each unique “URL” in a specific complaint is treated as an individual “item”. However, a single complaint may specify multiple items (URLs) that potentially relate to the same or different pieces of content.
In addition, the search engine giant also used technology to detect and remove malicious content from its platforms. This includes the use of automated detection processes for some of Google products to prevent the dissemination of harmful content such as child sexual abuse material and violent extremist content.
In July 2021, Google removed a total of 576,892 pieces of content as a result of automated detection processes. That’s 50,026 more than June month when the number of removal actions taken as a result of automated detection mechanisms used by Google’s SSMI platforms stood at 526,866.
Please note that the “removal actions” number for automated detection represents the number of instances where Google removed content or prevented the bad actor from accessing the service.
Food For Thought
Google has been removing fake and harmful content from its search results since 2010. Every day, the search engine giant discovers thousands of new unsafe ULRs, many of which are legitimate websites that have been compromised. Apart from URLs, the company also cracked down harmful ads from its search results and other platforms such as YouTube, in order to maintain the trust of its advertisers. In March 2019, Google had removed approximately 2.3 billion ads that violated its policies. In 2018, the company had removed over 3 million fake business profiles from Google Maps.
Google is making constant efforts to improve its Search Engine and other platforms such as YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, etc. for its users.