Transparency Report Update: January – June 2021

Today we’re rolling out Automattic’s most recent transparency report which covers January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021. As in past reports, we’re sharing data about national security requests, government requests for user information, government demands for content removal, as well as notices of copyright and trademark infringement.

We’re committed to transparency and we’ve continued iterating on our reports every six months to provide you with the most comprehensive data possible. In our previous transparency report, we began surfacing the number of requests we receive from users exercising their privacy rights. These figures include data access requests, deletion requests, and do not sell requests. We’re following that practice again this round and plan to continue going forward.

We also previously mentioned that our transparency reports for both WordPress.com and Tumblr platforms were moving closer together following Automattic’s acquisition of Tumblr in 2019. In the first half of the year, we created a unified landing page as a jumping off point for both individual reports. We’re now taking that one step further by bringing both reports into the same site which should make navigating and comparing data much easier.

More on that below!

WordPress.com and Tumblr

When it comes to democratizing publishing, WordPress.com and Tumblr have always been very philosophically aligned. Both platforms began transparency reporting in 2013 and our reports have evolved along similar lines over the years. Of course, users interact with our products in different ways which in turn impacts the volume and types of requests we receive for each platform, and it’s been interesting to see how those trends develop through our transparency report data.

Comparing that data in past years hasn’t always been easy, however, as the information existed in different places and was presented in different formats. Beginning today, both reports can now be found at on the same site with the WordPress.com report available here and the Tumblr report available here.

We’ve also taken steps towards unifying the format of our data, presenting information on things like government requests and intellectual property disputes in clean tables that make it easier to read and a bit more straightforward to compare across platforms.

Going Forward

While we’re excited about these developments, there’s more we’d like to do in upcoming transparency reports. Specifically, there’s room to unify our data-tracking methods between platforms so that we can get closer to an apples-to-apples comparison. Complete parity isn’t the ultimate goal, but we hope to make it easier for folks reviewing the data to do analysis and identify correlations.

Similarly, Automattic has a family of other products including recent additions such as Day One and Pocket Casts. If we begin receiving relevant requests related to these platforms, our aim will be to present data broken out by individual product in the interest of greater clarity and transparency.
These are just a couple of goals we have in mind, so please watch this space for future updates.

And, as always, please drop us a line if you have questions or suggestions about our transparency reports!

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