back to article Google report reveals YouTube takedown requests... by country

The UK government asked Google to take down 135 YouTube videos for reasons of national security in the first half of this year, states Google's biannual Transparency Report, released yesterday. The report also shows that the German government asked for videos that included Nazi memorabilia to be removed, and that US police …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Freedom of Speech...

    ...subject to government approval.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We don't have freedom of speech in the UK, we have a specific list of thing that we can't say.

      I for one don't want videos of people being murdered on the web, especially if they are then used to promote jihadists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "We don't have freedom of speech in the UK, we have a specific list of thing that we can't say."

        Where can I find a copy of this list - or is it specifically open ended?

        "I for one don't want videos of people being murdered on the web, especially if they are then used to promote jihadists."

        Ah, we get to pick and choose? Brilliant.

        I for one dont want videos of fluffy kittens on the internet, especially if they are then used to promote a funny use of English.

        Who do I speak to so I can get this sorted out?

        1. Dr Insanity
          Big Brother

          I'm afraid the list of words we're not allowed to say has to be stored in a safe on the independant micronation of Sealand, since any copies brought onto UK soil would be illegal.

          The bearers of the document found guilty will be punished by flogging, having their nipples tweaked and their ears ripped off. The document would be torn up, burned and trodden on. (This part is especially fun when the document is stored digtally, as the 1s and 0s have to then be sorted into 2 seperate piles, each of these being destroyed in corrosive acid and alkaline respectively to ensure they cannot intermingle, and any attempt to merge them will be PH neutral)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Ah, we get to pick and choose? "

          Yep. It's call democracy. You can go live somewhere else if you don't like it.

          "Who do I speak to so I can get this sorted out?"

          Speak to the rest of us and get popular support, then move onto the political stage to get legislation. That's how it works; that's how it's worked for a long time; I'm surprised that no one mentioned it to you before now.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Robert Long 1

            "Yep. It's call democracy. You can go live somewhere else if you don't like it."

            Oh right, I didnt see the bit on the party mandates about what was in the list of approved things which can / cant be said.

            Do you have a copy or can you point me to one please? Otherwise how do we know if our vote is going to get the stuff we want on the list? I certainly dont remember anything in the pre-election programmes over what would be included - did I miss it?

            When did we have a vote over what constituted jihadist material on the net? I have looked all over the BBC and even Hansard but there is no mention of a public vote, or even a vote amongst ministers.

            Or are you just talking crap here?

    2. Turtle_Fan


      Oh, grow up will you?

      Out of everything that gets posted, UK asked for 333 and the US 757 removals. That's just over 1'000 things across all of Google's services. And they didn't succeed in all of them either. And a lot of them could be the result of a court order.

      Not exactly a damning indictment of our ever-diminishing freedom of speech. There's so many other much more meaningful things to be spooked and complain about. (Surveillance anyone?).

      Finally Google's services != WWW. I can find and download all of Baghdad sniper's videos quite easily without relying on big G.

    3. Dave 15


      We have neither freedom of speech nor democracy in this country - just look at what happened in the 'mother of parliaments' this week.

      Every MP that voted to squash the peoples right to a vote should be ashamed, shot for treason and not reelected.

      As for freedom of speech look at the latest attempts to justify clamping down on the internet. Look at the BBC and the way it monitors, edits and blocks postings on its website, the way it closes down debates, reduces the amount you can post and the frequency of posts to make sure you can't say anything of value. They aren't the only ones but they are probably the most obviously under direct government control.

      Of course the vast majority of the masses are happy if they can watch Coronation street, moan about Eastenders, or complain about some football star and see some 'celebrities' knickers. Unfortunately the uninformed and frankly stupid masses have been given the vote - not because it improves democracy but precisely the opposite, those with power long ago realised that if they want to avoid problems swamp the few thinkers with millions of stupid idiots and brain wash the stupid peasants into thinking that giving their employers the right to sack them at the drop of a hat, taxing them to pay bankers billions in bonuses or making sure you are lined up for a good job when you leave parliament by 'not getting any financial benefit' from allowing a group of multinationals to determine our defence policy is the best way forward.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dave 15

        Just remind me how 100000 people in a voting population the size of the UK should be allowed to dictate that the government's stated policies should be changed, while also calling this democracy?

        The guys asking for the Hillsbrough (can't spell) files to be opened, fair enough - This wasn't any stated policy of the government.

        1. haloburn


          The petition threshold is set by government at 100000 signatures to get a debate not the person raising the petition, you have no idea how many signatures the petition would eventually have reached. In other words stop being ignorant.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    ... why don't the government just do what everyone else does; just get an account and false flag the videos. Google take the sodding things down instantly without checking if the claims are valid first, and it can be bleedin' ages before you can get the right to have them back up again ... even if the claims made against you are false.

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Whatever else is said about Google - good or bad - I wouldn't want to be the person making these decisions.

    1. earl grey

      I would LOVE to make that decision

      And tell them to pound it; in all cases. Freedom.

  4. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Is there a similar list for copyright infringement takedown requests?

    ... It'd be interesting to see the compliance rate.

    1. Random Handle

      Stores them - Google certainly adds to this DB, not sure if its an exhaustive list.

    2. Term

      Copyright takedown dial indecator...

      is in Larry's office being used as a desk fan.

    3. big_D Silver badge


      About 90% of the links to videos I get sent have been taken down in Germany by Sony or Warner, because, although they are private videos, somebody put a music track in the background... :-(

      As to the German Government requesting takedown of videos with National Socialist Party memorabilia / symbolism, that is a legal requirement. It can only be used in a historical film context, any other use of such National Socialistic symbolism is illegal - as is the sale of such.

  5. Captain Planet
    Big Brother

    Can we see them please?

    Is there any way to look at the ones which weren't removed? I'd be interested to see what the UK gov think is unsuitable for me

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Land of the Free

      If we take it that Google made the judgement call correctly then it appears the percentage of requests deemed BS or non-legitimate were -

      14% German

      18% British

      37% American

      It seems America is a long way ahead in the attempting to censor, whitewash or cover-up league.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not if you factor in the size of the population and the likely submissions per person.

      2. kain preacher


        in the US Google is free to reject the request in the US. If the coppers in UK demanded something be taken down do you think Google would refused .

  6. King Edward I
    Thumb Up

    "We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove."

    For once, Well done Google. Can we have a "slightly less evil than expcted" icon?

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Silly Americans

    You just request that they are removed for copyright violations on the design of the officers baton - or use the UK blanket "national security" excuse

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or we British are just afraid that people might be on to us. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they are not out to get you.

  8. Sam Liddicott

    the fear list...

    So the Germans are afraid of their history, the Americans are afraid of their present and the British are afraid of terrorists.

    1. Vic

      > the British are afraid of terrorists.


      The British *Government* are afraid of terrorists. Or claim to be, at any rate.

      The British are afraid of the British Government and their attempts to protect us all from the nasty terrorists...


  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So government criticism is no longer accepted ?

    Now that is a slippery slope there. I do hope that such an excuse is not going to be seen again.

    I also hope that whoever was receiving said takedown request did not comply on that point.

    1. Swoop
      Black Helicopters

      Oh no! Government criticism! Silence the filthy seditionist!

      Yep, welcome to the United Soviet States of America.

  10. Inachu
    IT Angle

    This is funny

    Jihad is bad but the cause of neoconservatisim has killed more people since 9-11 than any Jihad since 9-11 WORLDWIDE.

    So Neoconservatisim seems to be what needs to be taken offline when following the trends of takedown requests.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Jonski


    This page from El Reg is blocked at work. I have never had any other Reg page blocked here. Hmmm...

    1. Graham Marsden


      And I was just about to upvote you for what seemed to be an amusing post...!

  13. LarsG

    THE SLIPPERY......


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cultural differences have many forms

    Cultural differences have many forms it seems, even in censorship. We still have freedom of speach, just absolutely no rights to be listerned too.

    Still it is nice too know that the requests are not 100% accepted, somewhat reasuring and also unerving at the same time as could only lead to china selling there firewall to other countries as there form of appeal to the rejections.

    This leads me to the question, who censors google who censor goverments who censor you and me!

  15. phlashbios
    Stop it just me or ?

    I do not want any content being taken down unless it is as a result of a court order, i.e. it is content that is contrary to current law.

    Otherwise, we have a situation where arbitrary and subjective censorship is taking place outside the rule of law.

    1. Malcolm Boura 2
      Thumb Down

      Censorship common place

      Need a court order??? You must be joking! Censorship is endemic in our society. There is an enormous number of censors and precious little protection against them. What they censor is largely driven by lowest common denominator prejudice rather than evidence.

    2. Alex King


      Who said these requests weren't as a result of court orders?

  16. Malcolm Boura 2

    BBC self censorship

    Since the BBC has been mentioned I must point out that it self censors to the point of dishonesty.

    For example, No indication that the bottom of the picture has been cropped. There are exceptions but censorship of this sort is quite common and it is never admitted to.

    The page gives information on body censorship. The BBC is mentioned many times as well as having a section of its own.


    SMO Director

    Whatever happened to "DONT BE EVIL" and 100% complete transparency?

  18. Stutter

    In terms of a transparency report: great. How can it be anything other than a good thing, that Google gives us this?

    In response to those talking about freedom of speech, it's pretty pathetic to mention.

    As an example, take the "Collateral Murder" video on YouTube; it's still there. A very significant video that shows US military 'doing things they shouldn't' in Iraq. On that evidence alone, I put it to you that we either have free speech, or Google don't bow down to government pressure easily. Either way, it's pretty good as far as I can tell.

  19. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Under these circumstances,

    Google will of course remove its servers from the territory of the offending countries and move their operations to small islands located off the coast. After all, Google would never agree to censorship or filtering of content, no matter what entity, political or commercial, was attempting to impose it....


  20. Barrie Shepherd

    Why the UK

    What worries me is that the UK is high on the removal requests. Historically the UK promotes it's self as having freedom of speech (I'm never sure about freedom of expression) and often points to other countries that have restrictive regimes, censorship and other terrible obstacles to "democracy'. But some of these countries don't have a high "please take down rate" .

    Singapore 0

    Russia <10

    Pakistan <10

    Malaysia <10

    Libya <10

    Israel <10

    Indonesia <10

    Google releases the Report under it's "transparency" banner. Lets expand transparency and report the detail of the specific requests so we can learn what our government does not want us to see. If that offends a Court Order then don't list those sites covered by Court Order. Certainly if Google did not take the site down then I see no reason for us not to be told which sites were requested. That way we can start to understand what we are being shielded from.

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