20 Sep 2017/Wednesday
Suspends 300,000 accounts spreading terrorism
Twitter Inc. said, it suspended nearly 300,000 accounts globally linked to terrorism in the first half of the year. Of those, roughly 95 per cent were identified by the company’s spam-fighting automation tools. Twitter under pressure from governments around the world to combat online extremism, said that improving automation tools are helping block accounts that promote terrorism and violence. The increasing role of machines in fighting extremism is a function of necessity, with manually identifying violent material within the millions of messages sent every day an impossible task.
Meanwhile, the social network said government data requests continued to increase, and that it provided authorities with data on roughly 3,900 accounts from January to June. Twitter currently has around 328 million users, with monthly active users in the US around 68 million.Twitter said about 75 per cent of the blocked accounts this year were spotted before a single tweet was sent, and that 935,897 accounts had been suspended since August 2015, with two-thirds of those coming in the past year.
“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, along with Facebook and YouTube, are building automation tools that quickly spot troublesome content. Facebook has roughly 7,500 people who screen for troublesome videos and posts. It’s also funded groups that produce anti-extremism content that’s circulated on the social network.
The company is balancing a commitment to free speech against pressure from policymakers who want to see social media companies do more to fight extremism and hate speech. Twitter last year signed a voluntary pledge in Europe to take action within 24 hours against reports of racist, xenophobic and violent content.
American authorities made 2,111 requests from Twitter from January to June, the most of the 83 countries tracked by the company. Twitter supplied information on users in 77 per cent of the inquiries. Japan made 1,384 requests and the UK issued 606 requests.
Turkish authorities continued a trend of aggressively policing Twitter, making 554 requests for account data and issuing court orders to remove 715 pieces of content. Other governments made only 38 total content-removal requests.