Removing Incivility from Google: What determines the number of government content take-down requests?

Chen Min, Fei Shen (Corresponding Author), Wenting Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Requesting Internet platform providers to remove content is one of the common approaches for government worldwide to regulate online incivility. This study investigates the driving forces behind the variation in the number of uncivil content removal requests across countries. By connecting data from the 2017 Google transparency report to a host of societal level indicators, this study finds that the quantity of uncivil content removal requests is related to both social reality and political value factors. Countries with high levels of social vulnerability and low levels of freedom of speech tend to send more requests to Google for removing online incivility. However, democratic and non-democratic societies show different patterns: social reality and political values play important roles in democratic societies while in non-democratic societies, social reality is the only determining factor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101542
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-national data
  • Internet content regulation
  • uncivil content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law


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