Twitter Inc. announced Thursday that it has suspended 235 thousand accounts related to terrorists or terrorist groups over the last six months. The campaign to fight terrorism in the social media began in mid-2015 when Twitter announced that they were taking actions against those who violated the terms and conditions of the platform.
Those who feature violent threats and promote terrorism are being banned from Twitter. The efforts have managed to reduce the presence of some terrorist groups and their followers in the platform. The number of accounts suspended since February 2016 has doubled the first attempts of the blue bird to cut the broadcast of violent content. Since mid-2015 to February 2016, 125 thousand accounts related to terrorism were suspended. In contrast, since February 2016 until August 2016, 235 thousand accounts were left out of the social media.
The overall number of suspensions is 360 thousand, a significant number that is showing people Twitter can contribute in the fight against these violent groups.
The announcement was made through the social media’s blog, where they explain how are they identifying the extremists’ accounts and how Twitter is improving their efforts to avoid their come back to the platform with another account.
The blue bird counts mainly on its users to flag inappropriate content. But the company has also invested in the expansion of their teams that review 24/7 the information that is circulating on Twitter and has improved its spam-detection tool and language capabilities.
All these efforts have help to detect automatically more than a third of accounts that were suspended for promoting terrorism. The company stated that it would continue to invest in more resources and technology.
The update regarding Twitter’s fight against terrorist says that daily suspensions has increased 80 percent since last year and has accomplished to shut immediately down accounts that try to feature a terrorist attack.
The efforts resulted in a reduction of the time these violent accounts are active on the platform and the number of followers they have accumulated.
Global efforts to silence #Daesh online are bearing fruit.#UnitedAgainstDaesh pic.twitter.com/InNXnYUmEj
— مركز صواب (@sawabcenter) July 13, 2016
Collaboration is a key factor to identify terrorists on Twitter
Twitter is currently collaborating with multiple organizations around the world. The social media is working with Parle-moi d’Islam, from France; Imams Online, from the UK; The Sawab Center, from the UAE; Wahid Foundation, from Indonesia; and True Islam from the United States to counter violent extremism (CVE) online.
The platform has also partnered with other social medias by sharing information and best practices to identify those who wants to spread a message of terror.
Twitter admitted that an algorithm to identify terrorist does not exist, but with the recent improvements and the support of its users, the campaign against militants on Twitter is showing great results.
Sadly, Twitter’s fight against terrorism did not start within the company, but after the social media was criticized for allowing terrorist-related content to spread on its site.
In 2016 the platform was suited by the widows of two U.S. government defense contractors because, in their view, Twitter helped to the spread of the propaganda of the attack that claimed the lives of their husbands. A federal judge ruled last week that Twitter could not be held responsible for the pro-ISIS tweets.
Twitter stated in their update against violent accounts that they will be updating their progress on this fight in their Transparency Report.