Twitter shuts 235,000 more ‘extremist’ accounts

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AFP

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Twitter says it has suspended a total of 360,000 accounts since mid-2015

Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts for violating its policies on the promotion of terrorism, the social network has said in a blog.

In February, Twitter announced that 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 had been banned for the same reasons.

“Daily suspensions are up over 80% since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks,” said the firm.

It added that it continued to work with authorities on the issue of extremism.

In the past, Twitter has faced criticism over the level of extremist content that has been detected on its network.

Besides increased human efforts, Twitter said it had benefited from the use of spam-fighting tools that can help automatically detect problem accounts.

One third of the recent batch of suspensions were identified via such methods, the firm added.

‘Expanded capabilities’

“We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities,” said Twitter in its blog.

“We also collaborate with other social platforms, sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content.”

However, the move was described as a “short term solution” by Nikita Malik, a senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation, an anti-extremist group.

“What we’re trying to do as an organisation when we work with social media companies like Google and Twitter is to help them have a more pro-active role,” she said.

She added that it would potentially be more beneficial to focus on promoting counter narratives that challenged the message of extremist propaganda.



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