Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Twitter Shuts Down over 600,000 Accounts Linked to ‘Violent Extremism’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

Jeddah- The famous social media platform ‘Twitter’ has banned at least 636,000 accounts linked to extremism that have been under suspicion since 2015.

Over 376,000 accounts were suspended by the social media website in the last six months of 2016 in a bid to crack down on extremism.

Twitter also said it initiated legal action to remove content posted by verified journalists and media outlets.

Twitter said it had received 88 such requests, but had not taken any action on the majority of them.

The communications giant relies on a special automated system, rather than user-based or government reporting, to speed up the process of identifying and reporting violent extremist accounts.

Twitter is preventing the spread of violence and the promotion of terrorism. The company employs experts who have developed innovative tools to single out and report terror-linked accounts, current vice president of public policy and communications for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region Sinéad McSweeney told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Many terrorists have shifted away from using twitter, given the intense crackdown.

There is no available software algorithm capable of identifying all terrorist content uploaded to the Internet, but current algorithms work together by reporting users to identify abused accounts.

McSweeney also confirmed that Twitter had established many partnerships to counter online-spread extremism by training hundreds of NGO staffers and offering free campaigns to raise awareness of the impact of violent extremism.

Many other social networks are working closely to close accounts linked to terrorist organizations, in an effort to root out online recruitment worldwide, via popular platforms like Facebook.

it is noteworthy that Facebook has devoted five offices around the world to combat terror-related accounts with individuals speaking dozens of languages.