Twitter cracks down on ISIS accounts
Twitter suspends over 125,000 terrorist-related accounts in a bid to support governments and combat extremist propaganda
Since the middle of last year, social networking site, Twitter has deleted more than 125,000 accounts which have supported terrorism, and in particular accounts linked to terrorist group ISIS.
For years, extremist groups have taken advantage of Twitter's ‘free speech' policy, and used the service to as a place to spread extremist messages, but Twitter has now taken steps to combat this and for the first time publicised the number of accounts it has suspended.
The accounts were a mix of real users, whilst others were ‘bots' set up robotically to churn out tweets on extremist propaganda.
"We condemn the use of Twitter to promote violent terrorism," the company said in a statement. "This type of behaviour, or any violent threats, is not permitted on our service."
Twitter has increased the size of its teams and used human judgement and technology, developed by specialists in the US and Ireland, to monitor and also respond to reports by other Twitter users.
Despite being criticised once for not publicising its efforts to combat ISIS, Twitter's crackdown is showing results.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representative Intelligence Committee said Twitter's announcement was a ‘very positive development'.
He added: "Addressing the use of social media by terrorists will require a sustained and cooperative effort between the technology sector, the Intelligence Community, and law enforcement."
In general, Silicon Valley is collaborating with governments to fight extremist groups and their use of digital platforms.