Ranking The Most Corrupt Countries

Many people consume  media through the illegal downloading of content online. Whether it is movies, books, videogames or music, there is a huge availability of this content from the internet, specifically through what are known as “torrent” sites. Torrent sites despite being accessed in one’s own state, do not follow the laws or norms of that country but exist in a globalized, lawless environment. By analyzing the behaviour of individuals from different states in such an environment, trends representing each state’s adherence to the law can be ascertained..

Torrent sites can be divided into two categories; private and public. Public torrent sites are the easiest to access and have no standards or expectations of its users. Despite acting in a lawless domain, private torrent sites have a strict set of rules. If one deviates from the rules, they will be banned from the website.

These websites have a two-tier rule system. If one breaks the first set of rules (likely by failing to upload a proportionate amount of content in relation to the amount they download), they will be warned and then banned from the website. These users might be able to rejoin the site but otherwise there are no further consequences. The second-tier of rules are far more serious. These rules prevent users from “cheating” the website by either selling/buying invitations for these websites (which depending on the website can go for a lot of money) or using a special software to trick the website into thinking they contributed more than they actually did. If a user is caught “cheating” or violating a second-tier rule, not only will they be banned from the website and never allowed back, but those that invited them to the website will also be banned while they will likely be banned from all other similar private torrent websites. If enough users from one country are banned for “cheating”, then that entire country will be restricted from using that torrent website altogether.

By looking at what percentage of users from a given country have been banned for “cheating” and how many torrent sites each country is banned for in total, we can discover information as to what level of respect and adherence to the law these countries have.

For one of the most exclusive torrent sites, here is the list of what proportion of users were caught “cheating” the website:

  1. Kuwait – 86.0%
  2. Ecuador – 80.0%
  3. Palestine – 67.0%
  4. Georgia – 67%
  5. Egypt – 63.7%
  6. Pakistan – 63.5%
  7. Romania – 55.9%
  8. Turkey – 52.4%
  9. Saudi Arabia – 51.5%
  10. Bulgaria – 50%
  11. Ukraine – 40.5%
  12. Slovakia – 40%
  13. Myanmar – 38.9%
  14. Vietnam – 38.8%
  15. Hungary – 37.1%
  16. India – 36.5%
  17. Israel – 33.3%
  18. China – 32.7%
  19. Russia – 32.6%
  20. Portugal – 30%
  21. Brazil – 19.7%
  22. Poland – 18%
  23. Argentina – 17.4%
  24. Australia – 9.8%
  25. Canada – 8.7%
  26. Norway 8%
  27. Chile – 7.7%
  28. Switzerland – 7.7%
  29. Belgium – 5.8%
  30. United States – 5.7%
  31. South Korea – 2.6%

For perspective, these numbers are calculated with on average hundreds of users per country and with the bigger countries like the United States, many thousands.

Here is a list of countries by the total amount of torrent sites that have banned them:

  1. Israel: 16
  2. Egypt: 14
  3. Romania: 14
  4. Brazil: 7
  5. India: 7
  6. Turkey: 7
  7. China: 6
  8. Portugal: 5
  9. Poland: 5
  10. Pakistan: 4
  11. Saudi Arabia: 4
  12. Kuwait: 3
  13. Tunisia: 3
  14. Ukraine: 3
  15. Algeria: 2
  16. Argentina: 2
  17. Croatia: 2
  18. Iran: 2
  19. Russia: 2
  20. Slovenia: 2
  21. Sri Lanka: 2
  22. Vietnam: 2
  23. Thailand: 1
  24. Sweden: 1
  25. Korea: 1
  26. Latvia: 1
  27. Malaysia: 1
  28. Italy: 1
  29. Georgia: 1
  30. Germany: 1
  31. Hungary: 1
  32. Indonesia: 1
  33. Belize: 1
  34. Chile: 1

It should be noted that these numbers do not provide any sort of definitive ranking. The countries with the likely lowest level of adherence to the law do not have the tech literacy or interest in Western culture to be on these sites in large enough numbers. Similarly, those that are technologically literate and interested in Western culture may not be representative of the wider population. Additionally, because countries have populations in the millions and billions, a sample size of several hundred/thousand individuals might not be meaningful.

That being said, I believe that these numbers do reveal a general trend showcasing the amount of respect and adherence to rules and laws for each country. The ranking of countries listed above also for the most part fit with other metrics of corruption and are not entirely surprising.