Twitter has announced in a blog post that it has deleted 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism and radical Islam in the past six months. The social media platform stated that removing the accounts is part of a major project to prevent anyone from using the social network to promote extremist causes. The company has deleted 360,000 accounts since it began it’s “extremism” crackdown in 2015.
Daily suspensions for violating the company’s Prohibition of content that can be perceived as extremists has risen 80 percent in just the last year. The company has increased the size and scope of its teams that review and report content that violates the company’s terms of service. The company has also added new features that will allow people to weed out duplicate messages or automated posts.
“Daily suspensions are up over 80 percent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks. 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. We also collaborate with other social platforms, sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content,” Twitter wrote in the blog post.
The teams that review reports of behavior that violates its terms and agreements work around the clock, 24 hours a day to rid ISIS and other terrorist groups from promoting terrorism on their site.
The company recently took criticism from 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who calls the site a safe haven for bullies, extremists groups, and anyone attempting to push an agenda. Critics state the company must do more to prevent the hate speech before it can reach the masses. The new measures have been criticized for being reactive rather than proactive.
The widow of Lloyd “Carl” Fields Jr., who was killed by ISIS, filed a suit against Twitter in January claiming that they were partially responsible for his death because they provided a way for ISIS to recruit and raise money for terrorist acts, which is in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act. She won the suit in early August.
Anil Dash, a tech entrepreneur and activist, claims that the new features will do little to curb extremism on the site. He states that the underlying issues still exist and must be addressed. Extremists are still free to post an individuals personal information. He also states that extremists can simply make new accounts. He slammed the company in a statement made to the NY times:
“The news about banned accounts and new tools is really good, but Twitter has been doing those things for a long time. This has more to do with Twitter’s ability to talk about abuse than it is a big change in policy.”