Twitter strikes against terror, removes almost 1m terrorist-related accounts

20 Sep 2017

Image: Little Perfect Stock/Shutterstock

Nowhere to post, nowhere to hide. That’s the message Twitter is striking is sending out to terrorist-related accounts.

Twitter said it removed approximately 299,649 terrorist-related accounts from its platform during the first half of 2017.

Overall, the social media platform has suspended more than 935,000 terror-related accounts since 2015.

‘We have suspended a total of 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism’

The disclosure of the numbers comes as US and European governments have been pressing internet players such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to fight harder against the radicalisation of young people by Islamist groups.

Removal of terrorist-related accounts down to internal software

In its 11th biannual transparency report, Twitter said it has responded by achieving an 80pc reduction in accounts reported by governments, compared to 2016.

Twitter said that 95pc of these account suspensions were the result of internal efforts to combat terrorist-related content with its own proprietary software tools.

“Twitter removed 299,649 accounts during this reporting period, a 20pc drop from the previous reporting period,” the company said.

“Notably, 75pc of these accounts were suspended before posting their first Tweet.

“We have suspended a total of 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism in the period of August 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017,” Twitter added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years