- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2018

Twitter permanently suspended over 270,000 accounts during the last half of 2017 for violations related to its rules against terrorism, the social media service said in its latest transparency reports.

A total over 1.2 million Twitter accounts were taken down for violating the platform’s rules prohibiting the promotion of terrorism between Aug. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2017, including 274,460 during the last six months of 2017, Twitter said Thursday.

The latest statistic constitutes a 8.4 percent decrease from the preceding reporting period with respect to terrorism-related suspensions, making Twitter’s latest biannual report its second in a row to cite a drop in the number of accounts being suspended for breaking its rules targeting online extremists.

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“We continue to see the positive, significant impact of years of hard work making our site an undesirable place for those seeking to promote terrorism, resulting in this type of activity increasingly shifting away from Twitter,” the report said.

Twitter’s internal tools were responsible for flagging 93 percent of over 270,000 accounts suspended in the last reporting period, and roughly three-quarters of those accounts were booted before their first tweet, Twitter said.

Governments reported less than one percent of the recently suspended accounts, down 50 percent from the previous reporting period, according to Twitter.

Social media companies including Twitter repeatedly faced pressure from law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad to keep their platforms free from terrorists, and a top British official called in January for increasing their taxes to compensate for authorities spending millions of dollars worth of resources countering individuals radicalized by their products.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” according to Twitter.

Twitter’s rules against violence specifically prohibit users from threatening or promoting terrorism.

“You also may not affiliate with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes,” Twitter’s official rules state. 

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