Science & Technology

Twitter shuts down over 125,000 terrorism-related accounts

SAN FRANCISCO —Twitter has closed down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

In a blog post, Twitter said it just brought down accounts when they were reported by different users, however has increased the size of teams monitoring and responding to reports and decreased its response time “significantly”.

Twitter said in a blog post it has cooperated with law enforcement when appropriate. “There is no ‘magic algorithm’ for identifying terrorist content on the internet,” Twitter said in its post.

When accounts are reported, Twitter said it looks at ones that are similar and uses spam-fighting tools to identify other violent accounts, which it said has resulted in more suspensions.

Twitter has previously said little about its efforts to combat IS and similar groups, even though it has been criticised for not doing enough to stop Islamist militants and their supporters from using the service.

Islamic State, which controls large areas in Syria and Iraq, has heavily relied on the 300 million-person site, as well as others, to recruit fighters and propagate violent messages and videos.

The United States Government has pressured technology companies to cooperate and help them identify terror-related accounts, though Silicon Valley has been wary of engaging with officials.

In January, a high-profile delegation of top national security officials met tech industry leaders from Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Google parent Alphabet Inc, but most companies, including Twitter, did not send their chief executive officers.



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