Twitter removes 1.6 lakh terror-promoting accounts

San Francisco: Twitter suspended 166,513 accounts for promoting terrorism in the July-December 2018 period, saying there’s a steady decrease in terrorist groups trying to use the platform owing to its “zero-tolerance policy enforcement”.

According to Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter, there is a reduction of 19 percent terror-related tweets from the previous reporting period (January-June 2018).

“Of those suspensions, 91 percent consisted of accounts flagged by internal, purpose-built technological tools,” she said in a blog post late Thursday.

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Twitter said that in the majority of cases, it took action at the account setup stage — before the account even Tweets.

“We have received government information requests from 86 countries. The US now comprises only 30 percent of global government information requests and 35 percent of all global accounts specified in the same category,” informed Gadde.

The second highest volume of information requests was submitted by Japan (24 percent of global information requests).

Requests from the UK (13 percent), India (6 percent), Germany (6 percent) and France (5 percent) together account for 30 percent of all global information requests, and 29 percent of all global accounts specified.

“We received roughly 8 percent fewer global legal requests to remove content, impacting approximately 2 percent fewer accounts, compared to the previous reporting period,” said Gadde.

Twitter received legal requests specifying 27,283 accounts from 48 countries, including Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia and Slovenia for the first time.

“Nearly 74 percent of the total global volume of legal requests to remove content originated from only two countries: Russia and Turkey,” said the company.

During the reporting period, Twitter suspended a total of 456,989 unique accounts for violations related to child sexual exploitation, which is down 6 percent from the previous reporting period.

Of those unique accounts suspended, 96 percent were surfaced by a combination of technology solutions, including PhotoDNA and internal proprietary tools.

“Proactive challenges of accounts for spammy behavior and platform manipulation have decreased by 17 percent in the second half of 2018 versus the first half — totaling 194 million challenges in the second half of 2018,” said Gadde.

Approximately 75 percent were subsequently automatically removed after failing Twitter’s account challenge process.


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