Google received more than 115,000 requests for the removal of content from governments around the world between July 2009 and July 2018.Using data from the search engine, UK internet-site Comparitech analyzed all government content-removal requests received during that period, and ranked the countries by the number of requests made.
Scroll down to see the 20 countries that made the most content-removal requests, and the reasons they cited.
Everyone has something they don't want on Google - especially if they're politicians.
Every year, the search engine receives hundreds of requests from governments around the world requesting that content hosted on Google's platforms - be it a blog post, YouTube video, or anything else - be removed. Those requests came in the form of court orders, written requests, and more.
Using Google data, UK internet-research site Comparitech logged all the 115,301 requests the search engine received between July 2009 and July 2018, and the reasons cited for the removal.
Most of the reasons these governments cited were related to national security and defamation, Google reported, adding that it assesses each request, but does not necessary comply with all of them.
Scroll down to see the 20 countries that made the most of these requests, and why they did it:
20. Pakistan — 292 requests, with more than half citing religious offenses.
19. The Netherlands — 304, with the most popular reason being privacy and security concerns.
18. Australia — 393. The most popular reason was defamation.
17. Thailand — 575, with the vast majority (94.96%) citing government criticism.
The country also has strict lèse-majesté laws, which makes it a criminal offence to insult, defame, or threaten any member of the royal family.
16. China — 627, with most requests citing violence.
China - which notoriously censors all content that offends the Communist Party - is low down on this list likely because Google was banned from operating in the country in 2010, and therefore isn't widely used among citizens.
These 627 requests weren't made before Google left China, though.
According to Google, China started increasing its content-removal requests of content about the oppressed Uighur ethnic minority in 2017.
This is around the same time the state imposed a widespread crackdown on the Uighurs in their home region of Xinjiang.
15. Japan — 720, with more than three in four requests citing defamation.
14. Argentina — 737. The most popular reason cited was violence.
13. Canada — 768. The most cited reason was fraud.
12. Spain — 1,065, with more than half of requests citing privacy and security concerns.
11. Israel — 1,436. The majority of requests cited defamation.
10. Italy — 1,691. More than half of these requests cited defamation.
9. South Korea — 2,098, the most cited concern being privacy and security.
8. France — 2,291. National security was the most popular reason cited.
7. Germany — 3,197, with around half of those requests citing defamation.
6. Britain — 3,894, with the most popular reason (almost 40%) being national security.
5. India — 5,308. The most popular reason was defamation.
India regularly shuts off the internet in Kashmir, a disputed region on its border, in an effort to stop the spread of protests.
India cut off phone and internet lines in Kashmir in early August 2019 as it canceled the region's semi-autonomy.
At time of writing, the communications blackout is still ongoing.
3. The US — 7,964. The most highly-cited reason was defamation.
2. Turkey — 10,379. The most popular reason for content removal was defamation.
The country often imposes media blackouts after big news involving national security, such as terrorist attacks and political coups.
It also routinely restricts internet access to crack down on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which it sees as terrorists.
1. Russia — 61,471, accounting for more than half of all content-removal requests Google has received from governments in nine years. The most popular reason cited was national security.
On November 1, 2019, Russia officially introduced a "sovereign internet" law that lets the government cut the entire country from the rest of the web.
It also requires Russian internet providers to install hardware to allow authorities to locate the source of traffic and block it.
Critics said that the move could allow President Vladimir Putin to censor and close the internet, like in China.