Twitter shuts down more than 600K terrorist accounts

Yolanda Curtis
March 21, 2017

In total, Twitter has suspended 636,248 accounts for extremism between August 2015 and December 2016.

More than 62,000 Twitter accounts were shut down every month in the last half of 2016 because of links to terrorism. The company said the report includes 10 countries - Afghanistan, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Estonia, Haiti, Portugal, Switzerland, Thailand, and Uzbekistan - that submitted removal requests from law enforcement for the first time. Others were suspended following outside requests, including those from government representatives.

"As we continue to push for more transparency in how we can speak about national security requests, we will update this new section in future transparency reports", Twitter stated.

The platform said government requests accounted for only two percent of all suspensions in the last half of 2016.

"Given the concerning global trend of various governments cracking down on press freedom, we want to shine a brighter light on these requests", the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Twitter, where pithy posts serve as the online equivalent of bumper stickers, has always been used by extremists and terrorist organizations to promote nationalism, separatism and racism.

The technology is an extension of Twitter's own anti-spam technology, which analyses how an account behaves, rather than what it posts.

But social media companies are also working together to combat violent extremism online.

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