Security Experts:

Twitter Suspends 360,000 Accounts Related to Terrorism

Since mid-2015, Twitter has suspended 360,000 accounts for violating its policies related to promotion of terrorism, of which 235,000 accounts were suspended in the past six months.

Back in February, Twitter announced that it had suspended 125,000 accounts for promoting violence and terrorism, and the company has intensified its fight against violent threats since then. 

Twitter says that, since February, a “further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks” was witnessed across the globe, and that it is committed to help prevent such incidents from happening. “We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform,” the company notes in a blog post.

The social platform’s intensified fight against the promotion of terrorism has resulted in an 80% increase in daily suspensions since last year, “with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks.” The company claims that reported accounts are suspended faster, remain active for less time, and gather a much lower number of followers than before.

“We have also made progress in disrupting the ability of those suspended to immediately return to the platform. We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities. We also collaborate with other social platforms, sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content,” Twitter says.

Twitter is also using proprietary spam-fighting tools to automate the identification of repeated account abuse, complemented by numerous reports received from users. Over one third of the accounts suspended for promoting terrorism have been automatically identified with the help of such tools, the company says, but underlines that there still isn’t a “magic algorithm” for identifying terrorist content on the Internet.

The micro-blogging platform also notes that it is working with other organizations to counter violent extremism (CVE) online, including Parle-moi d’Islam (France), Imams Online (UK), Wahid Foundation (Indonesia), The Sawab Center (UAE), and True Islam (US).

Additionally, the company is working with law enforcement entities when they need assistance with investigations to prevent or prosecute terror attacks. Twice a year, part of its Transparency Report, Twitter publicly shares information on the government requests it receives.

Other large Internet companies have also intensified their fight against terrorism over the past several months, including Microsoft, which in May said it was prohibiting the posting of terrorist content on its hosted consumer services. The announcement came one week after the company told the United Nations that tech companies could do more to combat digital terror.

Related: Twitter Cuts Intel Agencies Off From Analysis Service: Report

Related: Hacker Groups Claims to Hit 5,500 IS Accounts

view counter