Technology

Twitter suspends almost a million accounts for promoting terrorism in two years

The social media site has published its latest transparency report.

Nearly a million Twitter accounts have been suspended for promoting terrorism in less than two years, new figures reveal.

But the statistics also reveal a fall in the number of suspensions in the first half of this year.

Technology stock
(Lauren Hurley/PA)

The microblogging site cut off 935,897 accounts for violating its rules on the promotion of terrorism from the start of August 2015 to the end of June this year.

From January to June 299,649 accounts were suspended over terror-related violations – a 20% decrease compared with the previous six months.

Releasing its latest transparency report, Twitter highlighted how its own efforts now account for the bulk of activity to stamp out extremist content.

A blog setting out the findings said: “Twitter’s continued commitment to eliminate such activity from our platform has resulted in an 80% reduction in accounts reported by governments compared to the previous reporting period of July 1 2016 through December 31 2016.

Technology Stock
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“Notably, government requests accounted for less than 1% of account suspensions for the promotion of terrorism during the first half of this year.

“Instead, 95% of these account suspensions were the result of our internal efforts to combat this content with proprietary tools, up from 74% in our last transparency report.”

Three-quarters of the accounts axed for promoting terrorism in January-June were suspended before posting their first tweet.

Twitter and other major technology firms have repeatedly faced scrutiny over their efforts to crack down on extremist propaganda.

Twitter also revealed that it received 6,448 requests for account information from law enforcement and government agencies in the first half of 2017, including 606 from UK authorities.

The overall global tally was up by 6%, but the number of requests lodged by the UK fell by 11%.

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