Empirical Evidence of “Over-Removal” by Internet Companies under Intermediary Liability Laws

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Most intermediaries offer legal “Notice and Takedown” systems – tools for people to alert the company if user-generated content violates the law, and for the company to remove that content if necessary.

The “Over-Removal” Issue

Most intermediaries offer legal “Notice and Takedown” systems – tools for people to alert the company if user-generated content violates the law, and for the company to remove that content if necessary.  Twitter does this for tweets, Facebook for posts, YouTube for videos, Google for search results, local news sites for user comments, etc.  National law varies in terms of what content must be removed, but some version of Notice and Takedown exists in every major market.  Companies receive a remarkable mix of requests – from those identifying serious and urgent problems, to those attempting to game the Notice and Takedown system as a means to silence speech they disagree with, to those stating wildly imaginative claims under nonexistent laws.

What do companies do with these removal requests?

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