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Twitter Suspends 300,000 Accounts Linked To Promotion Of Terrorism
Updated September 21, 2017 6:49 AM
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(WASHINGTON) - Twitter took down nearly 300,000 accounts linked to the "promotion of terrorism" in the first six months of this year, according to the company's latest transparency report, with 95 percent of them flagged by spam-fighting proprietary algorithms.

Loree Lewis, of Talk Media News reports, less than 1 percent of account suspensions were due to government requests, an 80 percent drop when compared to the last reporting period, which was the last six months of 2016. The number of accounts flagged as promoting terrorism or violence by the software jumped 74 percent when compared to the last reporting period.

Twitter said the 299,649 removed accounts represented a 20 percent drop in accounts removed during the last reporting period, but provided no explanation for the drop. Seventy-five percent of the accounts were suspended before posting their first Tweet.

Twitter and other social media giants, like Facebook and YouTube, have responded to criticism that their platforms allow extremist content to propagate by establishing teams of people and building automated tools to screen for troublesome online content.

The social media platforms have meanwhile attempted to balance a responsibility to confront extremist content with a commitment to free speech.

"Our anti-spam tools are getting faster, more efficient and smarter in how we take down accounts that violate our policy," Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter considers an account to promote terrorism if it actively incites or promotes violence associated with internationally recognized terrorist organizations, promotes internationally recognized terrorist organizations and accounts attempting to evade prior enforcement.

Twitter, which reported 328 million active global users its latest quarterly report, said it had removed 935,897 accounts for promotion of terrorism between August 1, 2015 and June 30 this year.

Twitter said that it received three percent more legal requests and court orders to remove content in the first six months of 2017, as compared to the previous reporting period. Of these requests, about 90 percent came from Turkey, Russia, France and Germany. First among the nations requesting content be taken down was Turkey, accounting for 45 percent of the requests.

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