Microsoft received more than 500 requests to take down revenge porn

The company granted 63 percent of requests to curb non-consensual sharing of nude images

Last year, Microsoft said that it would help combat so-called revenge porn by allowing people to request that it take down naked photos of them that were posted without their permission. On Friday, it released the first numbers showing how many requests it has received.

During the last six months of 2015, Microsoft received 537 requests to take down content through a submission form dedicated to revenge porn. The company granted 63 percent of those requests, de-listing content from its Bing search engine and removing it outright from OneDrive and Xbox Live. 

"In cases where we have not yet accepted a request, it is usually either because we have asked for more information to be able to make a determination on the request, or because the content in question does not contain nudity, identify the victim in the image, or otherwise meet generally accepted definitions of 'revenge porn,'" Microsoft said in a blog post.

The figures were released as part of Microsoft's latest transparency report, which also covers requests to remove content from governments, copyright holders and individuals subject to the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling.

Under that EU requirement, between July and December last year Microsoft received 3,421 requests to de-list content from Bing in Europe. It de-listed 41 percent of the content requested.

The company also published reports showing requests for user information from law enforcement around the world. It saw a 26 percent year-over-year increase in the number of requests, and a 21 percent increase in the number of accounts affected by those requests.

Law enforcement in Turkey made a whopping 9,169 requests for information, making it the country with the most total requests. Law enforcement in the United States requested information about the greatest number of accounts during that period, asking for details on 12,355 Microsoft accounts using 5,297 requests.

Speaking of the U.S., secret requests made using authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act dropped to their lowest reported point from January to June 2015. (FISA disclosures are delayed by 6 months.)

The government submitted fewer than 500 requests for content, which includes search warrants and surveillance orders. In the same vein, it submitted fewer than 500 requests for non-content information, which includes "pen register and trap and trace" orders that request information on who contacted who. 

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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