235,000 Twitter Accounts Get Suspended for Terrorism and Violence | WIKIBAN

19 August 2016

235,000 Twitter Accounts Get Suspended for Terrorism and Violence


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Twitter has explained its ongoing efforts to rid the site of accounts that promote terrorism and violence, claiming to have suspended almost a quarter of a million accounts in the past six months.

Some 235,000 accounts were suspended between February and August, following the 125,000 that were suspended between mid-2015 and February 2016.

Twitter said that this underlines the company's efforts to go after accounts that break its rules, and that it is removing such accounts as quickly as possible.

“Daily suspensions are up over 80 per cent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks," the firm said.

"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. We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities."

Twitter said that it is also working with other social platforms to share “information and best practices for identifying terrorist content”, although the company did not identify the other sites.
235000 twitter account suspended

The firm also explained that the fight against violence and terrorist accounts on Twitter is not easy, but that systems used to spot offensive content are improving.

“As we mentioned in February, and other companies and experts have also noted, there is no one 'magic algorithm' for identifying terrorist content on the internet," Twitter said.

"But we continue to use other forms of technology, like proprietary spam-fighting tools, to supplement reports from our users and help identify repeat account abuse.

“In fact, over the past six months these tools have helped us to automatically identify more than one third of the accounts we ultimately suspended for promoting terrorism.”

Twitter’s move to document its actions against such accounts comes after waves of criticism that the company has failed to take the problem of abusive content and messages on its site seriously enough.

This has been one cause of Twitter failing to grow its user base, and even losing some long-term users, as the site fights for growth in the shadow of its much larger rival Facebook.

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