Twitter says it's suspended more than 1.2 million users for promoting terrorism

Marsha Scott
April 6, 2018

In particular, we are announcing updates on our work to permanently suspend terrorist accounts from Twitter, more granular data on our country-withheld content policy, and expanded reporting on requests for account information.

"Between August 1, 2015 till December 31, 2017, Twitter has suspended 1,210,357 accounts for violations related to the promotion of terrorism". Accounts removed for promoting terrorism account for less than.02 percent of the total Twitter suspensions, a 50 percent drop from previous reports. The site further said in the statement that there was fall in such instances for two consecutive periods.

Approximately 274,460 accounts were suspended in the last six months of 2017 for violations related to promoting terrorism, Twitter said.

Nick Pickles, Twitter UK's head of public policy, said: "The overwhelming majority of these accounts were detected by our own technology, with just 0.2% of the accounts we suspended in 2017 being flagged by the police".

Despite Twitter's report, the company continues ot face criticism on how it handles issues relating to harassment and hate speech.

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The company's strategy to remove terrorism-related content from its platform has worked as evident in its claims that accounts created specifically to spread these types of content have rapidly declined over the past few years.

Our commitment to transparency around how we enforce our Terms of Service and the Twitter Rules is part of our effort to increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation around the world, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable toward progress.

This is not legislation yet, but the threat of EU-wide laws being drafted to regulate content takedowns remains a discussion topic - to encourage platforms to improve performance voluntarily.

And in February the United Kingdom government also revealed it had commissioned a local AI firm to build an extremist content blocking tool - saying it could decide to force companies to use it.

It's hard to interpret exactly what that development might mean. The US made 1,761 requests for information, the most of any government, and Turkey made the most legal demands, with 466 court orders and 3,828 requests of a different legal nature.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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