Transparency report

Requests for content alteration and takedown

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, 2019. For historical data, please see our archived report.

292

total requests for alteration and takedown (January - June 2019)

0

total requests for alteration and takedown granted (January - June 2019)

Government requests breakdown

January – June 2019


Australia Regional court 1
France Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
India Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
Italy Postal Police 1
Jordan Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
United Kingdom Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1

Where did these requests come from?

Requests by country

Country Total requests Requests granted
United States 62 0
Germany 22 0
United Kingdom 16 0
India 14 0
France 13 0
Italy 9 0
Australia 6 0
Brazil 6 0
Canada 5 0
Netherlands 4 0
Russia 4 0
Spain 4 0
Austria 3 0
Czech Republic 2 0
Denmark 2 0
Japan 2 0
Poland 2 0
Romania 2 0
Venezuela 2 0
Armenia 1 0
Belgium 1 0
Bulgaria 1 0
Chile 1 0
China 1 0
Colombia 1 0
Dominica 1 0
Croatia 1 0
Ecuador 1 0
Finland 1 0
Guinea 1 0
Hong Kong 1 0
Hungary 1 0
Iceland 1 0
Ireland 1 0
Kazakhstan 1 0
Korea 1 0
Mongolia 1 0
Portugal 1 0
Sweden 1 0
United Arab Emirates 1 0
Unknown 91 0
Total 292 0

Which Wikimedia projects were targeted?

Requests by Wikimedia project

Project Total requests Requests granted
English Wikipedia 117 0
Wikimedia Commons 25 0
German Wikipedia 22 0
Not a Wikimedia Foundation site 15 0
French Wikipedia 10 0
Multiple projects 9 0
Portuguese Wikipedia 9 0
Russian Wikipedia 8 0
Spanish Wikipedia 7 0
Italian Wikipedia 7 0
Dutch Wikipedia 4 0
Polish Wikipedia 3 0
Chinese Wikipedia 2 0
Czech Wikipedia 2 0
Danish Wikipedia 2 0
English Wiktionary 2 0
Farsi Wikipedia 2 0
Japanese Wikipedia 2 0
Swedish Wikipedia 2 0
Bosnian Wikipedia 1 0
Catalan Wikipedia 1 0
Dutch Wikibooks 1 0
English Wikivoyage 1 0
Finnish Wikipedia 1 0
Hungarian Wikipedia 1 0
Armenian Wikipedia 1 0
Korean Wikipedia 1 0
Mongolian Wikipedia 1 0
Romanian Wikipedia 1 0
Russian Wikisource 1 0
Simple English Wikipedia 1 0
French Wiktionary 1 0
Wikimania 2014 1 0
Wikidata 1 0
Unknown 27 0
Total 292 0

Right to Erasure

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. During this reporting period, we received 11 requests to alter or takedown project content based upon the Right to Erasure.

 

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 July 2017, the French Supreme Court asked the European Court of Justice to address questions regarding the scope of right to erasure delistings, and we have submitted a filing to the ECJ presenting our concerns.

 

* 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.

 

Total right to erasure requests 11
January - June 2019
Total requests granted 0
January - June 2019

Account related-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. In this section, we report on these account-related requests.

 

Please note that the numbers below provide totals for the number of user accounts to which these requests relate. This number may not reflect the number of unique individuals who made a request related to their account, since an individual may have multiple accounts across all Wikimedia projects, and we record each user account separately. As a result, this number might overestimate the number of people who made such requests.

 

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 the 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

The vast majority of the Wikimedia community of contributors are focused on productive additions to the projects’ store of knowledge. Occasionally, however, some users will engage in vandalism or other disruptive behavior. In these cases, trusted users who have been elected by their communities to have advanced rights may take action to block disruptive users.

 

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. Here, we report the number of such requests we received in the last six months. 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.

 

Total number of account deletion requests 216
January - June 2019
Total number of unblock requests 18
January - June 2019

DMCA takedown notices

Percentage of requests granted 25%
January - June 2019

 

The Wikimedia community is made up of creators, collectors, and consumers of free knowledge. While most material appearing on Wikimedia projects is in the public domain or freely licensed, on occasion, copyrighted material makes its way onto the projects.

 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provision requires us to remove infringing material if we receive a proper takedown request. We thoroughly evaluate each DMCA takedown request to ensure that it is valid. We only remove allegedly infringing content when we believe that a request is valid, and we are transparent about that removal. If we do not believe a request to be valid, we will push back as appropriate. To learn more about DMCA procedures, see our DMCA policy.

 

Below, we provide information about the DMCA takedown notices we have received in the past and how we responded to them.

 

This report covers requests we received between January and June, 2019. For historical data, please see our archived report.

 

Total DMCA takedown requests 16
January - June 2019
Total requests granted 0
January - June 2019

DMCA requests received, and how we responded

Requests by country

Country Requests granted Total requests
United States 4 10
Australia 0 1
China 0 1
Hungary 0 1
United Kingdom 0 1
Unknown 0 2
Total 4 16

Which Wikimedia projects were targeted?

Requests by project

Project Requests granted Total requests
Wikimedia Commons 4 8
English Wikipedia 0 5
Chinese Wikipedia 0 1
German Wikipedia 0 1
Not a Wikimedia Foundation site 0 1
Total 4 16

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