Twitter Removes Hundreds of Thousands of Accounts Linked to Violent Extremism

Social media giant, Twitter announced today that between July 2015 and December 2016 it had suspended over half a million accounts as it tackles ‘violent extremism’ on its platform.

Furthermore, they claim that over 70% of the suspended accounts were done so by using automatic proprietary technology owned by Twitter. Such technology is an arm of Twitter’s anti-spam efforts whereby they analyse how accounts behave.

Twitter also have said they have started to approve legal requests to remove content by specific journalists and media outlets/companies.

This report comes after a few weeks of increased pressure on social media companies to improve how they police their platforms. Earlier this month social media rivals to Twitter, Facebook were stung following a BBC investigation about their policy and handling of sexualised images of children on its platform.

Then just days later a man was arrested in Australia after he allegedly posed as Justin Bieber on Facebook’s platform to groom children.

Moreover, just last week MP’s grilled both Facebook and Twitter as well internet giants Google about the policing of the content on their various platforms and how they intended to improve things considering the billions they make each year.

Labour MP Chuka Umanna claimed the social media companies were making ‘money out of hate’, saying, “Now, there are not many business activities that somebody openly would have to come and admit… that they are making money and people who use their platform are making money out of hate.”

Whilst Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs committee said these companies have ‘a terrible reputation’ for dealing efficiently and swiftly to curb hateful, extreme and violent content.

Just yesterday, Google felt the wrath of some big brands for failing to act on their own content issues, with BMW, M&S, McDonald’s and others suspending all advertising activity on Google owned YouTube following the revelation that their adverts were being shown along side hateful videos.

Chief business officer for Google, Philipp Schindler apologised in a blog post saying, “So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content.”

Surely the social media giants will learn their lessons from these recent revelations in the media about their inefficiencies as more and more come to light and as they begin to effect their business reputations.


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