Twitter Says Shut Down 125,000 Accounts Linked to ISIS

Twitter Says Shut Down 125,000 Accounts Linked to ISIS
Sat Feb 6, 2016 09:21:58

Twitter is using spam-fighting technology to seek out and automatically flag accounts that might be promoting terrorist activity.

The company announced it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts on its social media site for threatening or promoting terrorist acts mainly related to the so-called “Islamic State” group in the last eight months.

Last year Europe’s police chief warned terrorists are sending up to 100,000 Twitter messages a day to plot terrorism.

In a chilling account of how ISIS is exploiting technology, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol and ex-MI5 officer, urged social media firms to help authorities stem the terrorist threat, saying that encrypted communications were the ‘most significant challenge’ to tackling terrorism, Daily Mail reports.

ISIS is known to use encrypted tweets to recruit fighters and ‘jihadi brides’, including the three British girls who fled to Syria earlier this year.

'Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups,' Twitter said.

'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.

'As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area. Since the middle of 2015 alone, we've suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.'

The firm also said it has increased the size of the teams that review reports, reducing response time significantly.

'We also look into other accounts similar to those reported and leverage proprietary spam-fighting tools to surface other potentially violating accounts for review by our agents.

'We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter.'

The firm also said it cooperates with law enforcement entities 'when appropriate' on the project.

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