Twitter has suspended nearly one million user accounts for promoting terrorist violence over the course of the last two years, the company reported on Tuesday.
In its bi-annual transparency report Twitter reported that its own internal control measures had eliminated 75% of the terrorist accounts before they had even posted a single tweet. The company said that only 1% of account suspensions were the result of government reports.
Major social media and tech companies have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years for the rampant terrorist activity which occurs over their platforms, particularly with recruitment efforts and the dissemination of propaganda.
According to its own report, Twitter has increased their response to government requests of terms of service violations, but the majority of requests went without Twitter taking action.
This was due to a variety of reasons, such as the reporter failing to identify content on Twitter or our investigation finding that the reported content did not violate our Terms. As we take an objective approach to processing global Terms of Service reports, the fact that the reporters in these cases happened to be government officials had no bearing on whether any action was taken under our Rules.”
Twitter values the expression and free sharing of ideas, so it’s likely most government reports of abuse were related to the silencing of political speech.
Twitter launched an especially proactive campaign to counter the Islamic State’s presence on the platform over the past few years, resulting in the group being effectively forced out. While that’s good news for the app’s overall user experience for more than 328 million active users, it really just redirected jihadist propaganda efforts to other more underground networks and apps, specifically those with advanced encryption technology designed initially for user privacy.
Twitter contends with a slew of abuses over its platform, especially as it wields considerable influence over national media coverage and “the conversation” in society. As Derek Gannon recently wrote, it is still subject to manipulation and “bot spam” on a daily basis.