Transparency Report Update: January – June 2020

Today, we present our update to the Automattic Transparency Report. This most recent data covers the first six months of 2020, from January 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020. 

Please read through the report here

In addition to our full report, we’re making a CSV file of our data available for the first time. Those looking to parse through the numbers can download the data from our current report here.

We are pleased to remind you that in late 2019, Automattic acquired Tumblr. Our teams have been working hard to align our data gathering processes across platforms so that in the future we can present our transparency report in a more unified way. Data regarding information requests and takedown demands aimed at Tumblr content for the January to June, 2020 period will be published soon. In the meantime, you can find Tumblr’s most recent transparency reports at this link.

At Automattic, we have an ongoing commitment to transparency. In this most recent report, we are once again presenting data on information requests, takedown demands, and intellectual property complaints that we have received during this reporting period. There are two notable data points that we would like to highlight this time around: the volume of Internet Referral Unit (IRU) reports, and DMCA takedown notices that we received. 

 

Internet Referral Unit Reports

We have previously discussed both the challenges and successes that we experience when addressing extremist content while protecting freedom of speech. In response to extremist content, we have worked with a number of IRUs from around the world. These referral units are state authorities who report to us material that they believe is in violation of our Terms of Service. Upon receipt of these reports, we review user accounts and take action when content or behaviors run afoul of our long-standing position on terrorist activity.  

We are pleased to report that our efforts in this area appear to have paid off as there has been a dramatic decrease in IRU reports during this period. In total, we received three reports. This is a noteworthy decline in volume compared to the 34 reports we received during the previous reporting period in 2019 (as well as the 82 reports we received during the second half of 2017 when we first began reporting on these specific requests). See

Click here for more information.

 

DMCA Notices

The number of DMCA takedown notices received during this reporting period — 9,462 — was almost double what it was in the last reporting period. This is due to a single complainant: the anti-piracy company, 3ants, who submitted a nearly record-breaking 4,544 notices in the first six months of the year. The last time we experienced this volume of takedown notices from a single complainant was during the second half of 2018 when Link Busters submitted 4,965 notices during a six-month period.

Unfortunately, companies such as these often submit multiple, duplicate notices targeting the same material, particularly when they use bots. Additionally, many of these takedown notices target content that we either do not host, or have already been removed. Because so many of these takedown notices are automated, replies are not monitored by humans and our requests for additional information are often met with no response. In this case, 3ants has taken it to the extreme, and we’ve had to adjust our internal processes to deal with the influx of these thousands of duplicate notices.

For more information, please see our Intellectual Property page.

 

We hope you will find this information interesting and helpful. Please contact us if you have any questions on this report. Additionally, if there are other types of data you would like to see in future reports, we would love to hear from you.