Twitter is keen on countering threats stemming from violent extremism and it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 alone.
The accounts in question raised suspicions of terrorism and Twitter took action. It's a known fact that terrorist groups have been using the Internet and social media, especially Twitter, for their propaganda and to recruit more extremist sympathizers.
Terrorist activities, mainly related to ISIS, also known as ISIL and Daesh, have been posting increasingly alarming threats. Countering terrorists' online propaganda has become one of the top priorities of heavyweight online entities, including Google and Twitter, which are taking measures in this regards.
Just recently, Tech Times reported that Google plans to counter extremism by serving anti-ISIS ads when radicals search for extremist content.
Twitter, for its part, faced criticism in the past for not doing enough to fend off online terrorist activities. The microblogging platform, however, has been making its own efforts.
Back in March, for instance, ISIS made death threats against Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the company's staff after Twitter blocked its accounts. Twitter suspended thousands of accounts in fact, if it suspected they were tied to terrorism.
In a new announcement on its company blog post, Twitter now details the efforts it made and keeps making to fight extremism.
"Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups. 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," Twitter explains.
The company further points out that it suspended more than 125,000 accounts in the past few months alone, since mid-2015, for promoting or threatening the public with terrorist activities. According to Twitter, most of those were mainly related to ISIS.
In addition to suspending such suspicious accounts, Twitter is also taking several other steps to fight terrorism, extremism and radicalization. Additional measures include:
• Increasing the size of teams in charge of reviewing reports in order to cut down on the response time
• Checking accounts similar to the ones reported
• Using proprietary tools for fighting spam to check for "potentially violating accounts," which Twitter agents will then review
Twitter says these practices are already paying off, as the results are visible. The number of accounts suspended increased, and this sort of activity is moving off its social media platform.
The microblogging platform also worked with law enforcement agencies whenever it was necessary and is teaming up with organizations such as People Against Violent Extremism and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue that aim to counter extremism in the online environment.
Twitter's global policy team is also regularly attending training sessions and events focusing on countering violent extremism.
On the other hand, despite increasing efforts to clean up social media and the online environment of extremism, online terrorist activities still pose a great challenge. More accounts pop up for each account suspended, and there's no magic solution to identify all terrorist content that makes its way online.