Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) says they have closed down 377,000 accounts, which were used to promote terrorism over the last six months. The social media is battling against the promotion of terrorism through its platform for quite some time now. This is the latest action by Twitter in this regard.
In their latest transparency report, which was for the July 1st to December 31st, 2016 period, Twitter said a total of 376,890 accounts were closed down “for violations related to promotion of terrorism”. With this, the number of accounts closed for posting terror-related content goes up to a massive 636,248 accounts since August 1st, 2015. That is a lot of accounts closed in about one and a half years.
Twitter Used Software to Find and Shutter These Accounts
But it wasn’t easy for Twitter. They had to design proprietary tools that have the ability to automatically identify accounts with such content and take them down. The social media also employed a team of human investigators to support the software. The San Francisco-based Twitter revealed that 74 percent of these accounts were discovered by using this software.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and many other online giants have been accused of not taking adequate steps to combat extremist activities on their platforms. After being criticized in the last few years, many businesses are now implementing more robust processes, such as increasing the team size that receives reports, responds to them, and takes the necessary action quickly.
Twitter, for instance, is also checking more accounts that are similar to the ones reported even as they are developing algorithms that will detect potentially violating accounts automatically and review them. Twitter says they are also making it difficult for those whose accounts are closed to return to the service quickly. However, they haven’t disclosed how this is being done.
Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Google Come Together to Fight Terror
In early 2016, leading executives from businesses that have to deal with terror-related activities, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Google, held talks in the United States and France, which have seen many terror attacks in recent times. That was a turning point. Then in December 2016, they announced the decision to share database of the “violent terrorist” material found on their platforms to help each other remove extremist content more quickly.
Removing terror material from the internet is an ongoing challenge. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) says they are making good progress. A spokesperson said, “We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter”.