Twitter Taking On Terrorism

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Twitter Taking On Terrorism

In its continued effort to curb terrorism-related activities, the micro-blogging website Twitter has suspended an additional 235,000 accounts for violating its policies related to promotion of terrorism in the last six months.

Twitter had announced the blocking of more than 125,000 accounts earlier this year which were primarily related to the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The company explained the move in a blog post on Thursday.

Twitter’s Blog Post 

This brings our overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015. As noted by numerous third parties, our efforts continue to drive meaningful results, including a significant shift in this type of activity off of Twitter.

The daily Twitter account suspensions are up over 80 percent since last year with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks.

Twitter’s Blog Post 

Our response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically. We have also made progress in disrupting the ability of those suspended to immediately return to the platform.

Twitter Expanding Its Anti-Terrorism Measures

In addition to the account suspensions, Twitter’s global Public Policy team has expanded its partnerships with organisations working to counter violent extremism (CVE) online.

Twitter official statement

We work with organisations such as Parle-moi d’Islam (France), Imams Online (Britain), Wahid Foundation (Indonesia), The Sawab Centre (UAE), and True Islam (US) to empower credible non-governmental voices against violent extremism.

According to a latest study by the US-based Brookings Institution, IS supporters may be operating over 46,000 active Twitter accounts.

Twitter official statement

We also collaborate with other social platforms, sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content.

The San Francisco-based company has increased the size of its teams that review terror-related accounts and leverage proprietary spam-fighting tools to surface other potentially violating accounts for review.

As many experts and other companies have noted, there is no “magic algorithm” for identifying terrorist content on the internet, so global online platforms are forced to make challenging judgment calls based on very limited information and guidance.

Twitter added

In spite of these challenges, we will continue to aggressively enforce our rules in this area, and engage with authorities and other relevant organisations to find solutions to this critical issue and promote powerful counter-speech narratives.

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