235,000 Twitter Accounts Suspended for Promoting Terrorism

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.The microblogging platform has suspended 235,000 accounts that violated its policies regarding the promotion of terrorism and violent threat in the last six months. This number added to 125,000 suspensions in the previous six months.

Twitter developers explained that they don’t have any algorithm for identifying terrorist content online, but they use other forms of technology, like proprietary spam-fighting tools, which are combined with supplement reports from their users and result in identification of repeat account abuse. Industry watchers admit that Twitter has become a kind of social media battlefield where people are recruited. When the extremist groups are losing on the territorial front, they resort to social media to recruit the youth.

So far, daily suspensions were up 80% since the year before. It can also be noted that suspensions spike after major terrorist attacks. The company reported growth in response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time such accounts exist, and the number of their followers. However, Twitter has made progress in preventing those suspended to immediately return to the platform, though the tools it uses to do so are not disclosed.

The most popular microblogging platform in the world accounts for 313 million monthly active users. The company has always been struggling with controlling terrorism-linked accounts, especially with tech-savvy groups using Twitter to great effect for recruitment and propaganda purposes.

In early 2016, the US government met with tech giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Apple and YouTube, on the issue of addressing extremism online. As for Twitter, the platform faced a trouble in balancing its priorities. For example, it came under fire for the disparity in how fast its team was able to take down content from the Olympics and how fast it addresses racial and misogynistic abuse. Besides, several days ago, a US judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Twitter of supporting Isis, where the family of two men killed in Jordan accused it of allowing the group to sign up for an account. The federal judge ruled that the social media platform cannot be treated as a publisher or speaker of Isis’s hateful rhetoric and therefore cannot be held liable under the facts alleged.

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