Twitter has suspended over 1.2 million accounts for spreading terrorism

By Asra Rizwan on
April 6, 2018
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Earlier this year, Twitter started a crackdown on fake accounts and bots. Now the social media giant reveals in its latest Transparency Report of suspending over 1.2 million accounts since August 2015 for promoting terrorist activities. Just in the second half of the year 2017, 274, 460 accounts were permanently removed for violations related to inciting terrorism. 93 percent of these accounts were flagged by Twitter’s internal technology tools, and 74 percent were suspended even before they could write their first tweet.

The number has gone down by 8.4 percent as compared to the volume of suspended accounts in the previous reporting period. The company attributes the effectiveness of the tools deployed on the social network to combat terrorist activity on its platform and identifying pro-terrorism accounts and removing them. In the second half of the year 2016, the accounts experienced a 20% drop in the reported figures suggesting that Twitter is winning the battle against terrorists discouraging the use of the platform to spread terrorist propaganda.

The number indicates that a quarter of these accounts still managed to send at least one tweet. A proportion unchanged since the last reporting period suggesting that Twitter is effectively using its tools to automate account identification linked to terrorist activities instead of focusing rather than building capacity for the pre-filtering terrorist account which is challenging enough.

Only 0.2 percent of the suspended accounts which makes 597 accounts, were subjected to government reports of violation. The report indicates that a greater number of Twitter accounts are being reported by governments for abusive behavior pertaining to racism, hate speech, and violence. From the suspended tweets that were reported by governments, 66 percent were removed for impersonation, 16 percent for harassment and 12 percent for hateful conduct. Previously, Twitter had received a backlash for going against its policy to remove Donal Trump’s anti-muslim tweets.

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