0 Requests granted 371 Total requests

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

The Wikimedia projects make up one of the world’s largest repositories of human knowledge. With that much information, someone is bound to get upset by some of the content from time to time. While the vast majority of content disputes are resolved by users themselves, in some extreme cases the Wikimedia Foundation may receive a legal demand to override our users.

The Wikimedia projects are yours, not ours. People just like you from around the world write, upload, edit, and curate all of the content. Therefore, we believe users should decide what belongs on Wikimedia projects whenever legally possible.

Below, you will find more information about the number of requests we receive, where they come from, and how they could impact free knowledge. You can also learn more about how we fight for freedom of speech through our user assistance programs in the FAQ.

This report covers requests we received between January and June, 2023. For historical data, please see our past reports.

Alteration and takedown requests from governments

63 Government requests

Requests for content alteration and takedown

Government requests63
Alteration and takedown requests from governments - 2023-1

Government requests breakdown

ArmeniaGovernment Agency1
AustraliaFederal Agency1
AustriaPoliticians, Candidates, and Political Parties

State Agency

GermanyFederal Agency
State Agency
IndiaCyber Police
Federal Agency
City Police
IndonesiaGovernment Agency1
NorwayGovernment Agency1
PakistanFederal Agency5
Russian FederationFederal Agency39
SloveniaPoliticians, Candidates, and Political Parties1
United States of AmericaPoliticians, Candidates, and Political Parties3

Requests for content alteration and takedown by project

Project AffectedRequestsGranted
English Wikipedia1050
Wikimedia Commons540
Multiple Projects340
German Wikipedia300
Russian Wikipedia240
Not a Wikimedia Site230
French Wikipedia200
Spanish Wikipedia110
Italian Wikipedia90
Chinese Wikipedia40
Dutch Wikipedia30
Portuguese Wikipedia30
English Wiktionary20
Esperanto Wikipedia20
Finnish Wikipedia20
Japanese Wikipedia20
Korean Wikipedia20
Polish Wikipedia20
Russian Wikinews20
Russian Wikibooks20
Bengali Wikipedia10
Bulgarian Wikipedia10
Danish Wikipedia10
Estonian Wikipedia10
Farsi Wikipedia10
Galician Wikipedia10
Georgian Wikipedia10
Latvian Wikipedia10
Malay Wikipedia10
Norwegian Wikipedia10
Romanian Wikipedia10
Russian Wikisource10
Slovenian Wikipedia10
Swedish Wikipedia10
Turkish Wikipedia10
Ukrainian Wikipedia10

Requests for content alteration and takedown by country

Country of OriginRequestsGranted
United States of America540
Russian Federation420
United Kingdom120
Hong Kong20
New Zealand20
The Republic of South Korea20
Democratic Republic of The Congo10
Puerto Rico10
Saudi Arabia10
Sri Lanka10
United Arab Emirates10

Child Safety Reports

17 CyberTipline Reports Submitted 58 Subsequent Content Actions 19 Subsequent Account Actions

The Wikimedia movement of volunteers, along with the Wikimedia Foundation, have over the years developed and tailored practices to address potentially illegal content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

Robust community-led content moderation processes provide the first line of defense. While automated tools are used to support existing community processes, the bulk of this work is done manually across Wikimedia projects.

Situations involving actual or suspected Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) are escalated to the Foundation’s Trust & Safety sensitive content team to address. This team utilizes PhotoDNA, an automated tool, to identify known CSAM images and videos and report them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a nonprofit that refers cases to law enforcement agencies around the world. 

When actual or suspected CSAM is identified, we immediately lock the account(s) that upload the content and escalate the information to NCMEC’s CyberTipline, as required by law. Each report to NCMEC may involve one or more pieces of content. For our annual CyberTipline report totals from previous years, please see: 2022; 2021; 2020; 2019.

While CSAM has been found on Wikimedia projects, it is very rare. From January to June 2023, we submitted 17 CyberTipline reports to NCMEC, removed 58 pieces of content based on these reports, and banned 19 accounts based on these reports.

Right to Erasure

0 Requests granted 14 Total requests

The Right to Erasure, or Right to be Forgotten, is a right under the laws of various countries that allows individuals to request that certain information relating to them be delisted or removed.

When we receive a Right to Erasure request regarding project content, we first direct the requester to experienced project volunteers, who routinely handle most requests to change content on the projects. Wikimedia projects have guidelines for content about living persons, and the volunteer community can review the guidelines and work with the requester to address their concerns.

When we receive a request relating to a user account, we provide the user information on the community-driven vanishing process. See the account-related requests section below for more detail on these requests.

We believe in a Right to Remember. Everyone should have free access to relevant and neutral information of public concern; delisting and removing such content from the internet harms our collective ability to remember history and understand the world. In October 2016, we filed a petition to intervene in Google’s appeal of a French administrative order that would expand such delistings from the European Union to all global domains. In March 2020, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice limiting the geographic scope of such removals, the French court quashed the order, and the French agency behind it has adjusted its position.

* Please note that this information only reflects requests made directly to us. Wikimedia project pages continue to disappear from search engine results without any notice or request to us. We have a dedicated page where we post notices of delisted project pages that we have received from the search engines who provide such information as part of their own commitments to transparency.

Account related requests

2,598 Account deletion requests 20 Unblock requests

Many of the requests we receive ask for changes to project content, or request that we provide data about our users. However, some requests pertain to user accounts.

Account deletion

When we receive a request to delete a user’s account, we provide the user information on the community-driven vanishing process. Prior to July 2019, account deletion requests were reported in the “Right to Erasure” section. We are now reporting these requests separately in order to give users additional clarity on the types of requests we receive.

Unblock Requests

On occasion, a user who has been blocked by the community may contact the Foundation to request that we take action to reverse the block. The Foundation supports the community’s ability to issue blocks in order to protect users and the projects, and appeals to us when a user has been blocked for disruptive behavior will not result in reinstatement.

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Contact us

Questions about the Wikimedia Foundation or our projects? Get in touch with our team.

Photo credits

Requests for user information - 2022-1-1

Wikimedia Foundation

Alteration and takedown requests from governments - 2023-1

Alteration and takedown requests from governments - 2023-1

Wikimedia Foundation