Reddit recently released their 2016 transparency report which shows that information requests from law enforcement tripled in the last two years.
The report shows how often the company received requests for private user information from US and foreign government officials or law enforcement. Reddit boasts a userbase of approximately 274 million users and received as many as 170 requests for information on private users in 2016, more than three times the 55 requests received in 2014.
The United States made 137 requests, including subpoenas (69), court orders (8), search warrants (32), and emergency requests (19). Foreign governments including the UK, Australia, and Germany made 38 requests. Reddit also received six subpoenas and petitions relating to user information from non-governmental bodies.
Reddit complied with approximately 62 percent of these requests, keeping in line with their previous years’ compliance rate of 58 percent in 2014 and 60 percent in 2015. They also provided information relating to two of the of the private requests stating that they were “legally valid” but denied the other four.
One of the denied requests was made by a company seeking information on a user who had criticized them. Reddit refused in this case, claiming that the user’s comment was protected under the First Amendment as it was “based in fact and expressed the user’s opinion.”