H1 2017 – Twitter suspended a total of 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism

Pierluigi Paganini September 21, 2017

Twitter published its Transparency Report related to H1 2017, the company suspended 935,897 accounts for the promotion of terrorism.

Twitter suspends 299,000 accounts linked to terrorism in the first six months of 2017, the company revealed that 75 percent of the infringing accounts were suspended before their first tweet confirming the huge efforts in fighting online propaganda and other activities linked to this threat.

According to data provided in the transparency report, Twitter confirmed that 95 percent of the suspended accounts for the promotion of terrorism were identified by using internal tools designed to identify and block spam, government requests accounted for less than 1% of account suspensions.

One-quarter of those infringing accounts were suspended before the accounts posted their first tweet.

It is interesting to note that according to the report published by the social media giant, fewer than 2 percent of accounts that were suspended were reported by governments worldwide.

Governments submitted 716 separate reports that triggered the suspension of 5,929 accounts.

“The second largest volume, a little more than 2% of global reports, fell within the promotion of terrorism category. Under this category of reports, we are referring to accounts that actively incite or promote violence associated with internationally recognized terrorist organizations, promote internationally recognized terrorist organizations, and accounts attempting to evade prior enforcement.” states a blog post published by Twitter.

“Twitter’s continued commitment to eliminate such activity from our platform has resulted in an 80% reduction in accounts reported by governments compared to the previous reporting period of July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Notably, government requests accounted for less than 1% of account suspensions for the promotion of terrorism during the first half of this year.”

Almost every government is stressing technology company to adopt measures to fight online terrorism, UK and France proposed fines for those companies that don’t collaborate or fail to curb terrorist activities online.

Tech giants Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube pledged to improve the information sharing by building a database of digital fingerprints of terrorism-related content removed from their services.

Twitter received 6,448 demands for data from governments in the first six months of the year, in 60 percent of cases some information were produced for a total number of accounts specified of 11115.

Twitter Transparency Report

The US made 211 demands for 4,594 accounts, down by 8 percent year-over-year, while the UK made 606 demands for data on 819 accounts, down by 11 percent year-over-year.

Interesting also the data related to Japan, the state made 1384 demands for 1993 accounts.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Twitter, terrorism)

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