Twitter suspends more than 636000 accounts to tackle extremism

Andrew BurtonĀ  Getty Images

While Twitter saw a 7 percent uptick in government information requests during the last six months of 2016, most of the accounts flagged for terrorism were caught by the company's spam-fighting tools.

It may be a drop in the bucket, but every drop is significant: Twitter revealed in its Twitter Transparency Report for the second half of 2016 that it suspended 636,248 accounts from August 1, 2015, through December 31, 2016, for "violations related to promotion of terrorism". In its latest transparency report, which covers activity on Twitter between July and December of past year, the social network revealed its latest tally of banned accounts has risen dramatically.

Twitter suspended nearly 400,000 accounts in the last six months of 2016 to combat "violent extremism". According to the report, only 2 percent of those suspensions were in response to government requests, while 74 percent came about after the accounts were flagged by Twitter's internal process.

Seventy-four percent were identified by proprietary Twitter technology, which automatically scans accounts. For example, in our global information requests report, we now break out the number of emergency disclosure requests and preservation requests we receive by country.




In what is Twitter's 10th transparency report, the company added a new section detailing government requests targeting journalists.

But social media companies are also working together to combat violent extremism online.

Twitter received almost 6,000 requests from governments and courts for account or tweet removals during the reporting period.

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