- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2016

Twitter is upping its efforts to crack down on terrorist propaganda, announcing Friday that the social media company has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 for promoting terrorism.

Law enforcement authorities have raised concern over the Islamic State’s savvy use of social media as a recruiting tool for potential terrorists.

In a release issued Friday, Twitter officials said the 125,000 accounts suspended for threatening or promoting terrorist acts were primarily related to the Islamic State rather than other groups. The company also said it has increased the size of its teams that review reports in order to reduce the time it takes to shut down problematic accounts.

“We also look into other accounts similar to those reported and leverage proprietary spam-fighting tools to surface other potentially violating accounts for review by our agents,” the statement read. “We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter.”

Notice of the suspension of the accounts comes as law enforcement officials have been in talks with tech companies over ways to counter messages promoting violent extremism and to prevent potential terrorists from keeping their communications below the radar. Limiting the potential reach of terrorist groups on social media has been a goal of law enforcement.

Twitter’s announcement of the number of accounts related to terrorist propaganda shows that the group’s reach has mushroomed beyond previous estimates.

Last summer, FBI Director James Comey said the Islamic State was estimated to have nearly 21,000 English-language Twitter followers. Meanwhile, a Brookings Institute study from March estimated that between September through December 2014, Islamic State supporters operated at least 46,000 Twitter accounts.

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