- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2016

Twitter on Thursday said it has suspended 235,000 user accounts since February for violating its rules against promoting violence and terrorism, and it has purged around 360,000 accounts since mid-2015.

“Since that announcement, the world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe. We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform,” Twitter said in a statement.

“As we mentioned in February, and other companies and experts have also noted, there is no one ‘magic algorithm’ for identifying terrorist content on the Internet,” the statement continued. “But we continue to utilize other forms of technology, like proprietary spam-fighting tools, to supplement reports from our users and help identify repeat account abuse.”

Those tools, said Twitter, have been used to automatically identify more than one-third of the accounts that have been suspended in the last six months for promoting terrorism, and the number of daily suspensions has increased over 80 percent compared with last year’s figures.

Last month, the Counter Extremism Project praised Twitter after the company swiftly suspended users accounts in the aftermath of the Nice, France, terror attack that resulted in more than 80 deaths.



“Twitter moved with swiftness we have not seen before to erase pro-attack tweets within minutes,” the group said a statement. “It was the first time Twitter has reacted so efficiently.”

Indeed, Twitter said Thursday that its seen a spike in user suspensions immediately following recent terror attacks in Nice and elsewhere.

“Our response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter, and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically. We have also made progress in disrupting the ability of those suspended to immediately return to the platform. We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities,” the statement said.

Twitter’s announcement this week comes amid efforts in both chambers of Congress aimed toward eradicating the social media presence of online jihadis.

“The stakes have never been higher and having cooperation with these outlets will help save lives here and abroad,” Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, said previously of a bill he introduced last year with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat.

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