Twitter suspends 125,000 terrorism-related accounts

By Marilyn Malara   |   Feb. 6, 2016 at 11:27 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Twitter said it joined the fight against the Islamic State and similar groups by shutting down 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since last year, the company announced Friday.

The accounts in question were suspected of threatening or promoting terrorist attacks, Twitter said, with many of them being run by IS supporters and affiliates.

"We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism," the microblogging company said in a Friday blog post. "As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area."

Twitter officials said the social media platform has increased the size of the teams used to screen accounts which may be related to terrorist activity. The expanded teams have "significantly" cut time spent responding to particular threats, the company said.

The company's announcement comes less than a month after White House officials and tech company executives discussed methods for combatting terrorist use of social media to recruit and expand their influence.

"As an open platform for expression, we have always sought to strike a balance between the enforcement of our own Twitter rules covering prohibited behaviors, the legitimate needs of law enforcement, and the ability of users to share their views freely -- including views that some people may disagree with or find offensive," Twitter officials said.

"There is no 'magic algorithm' for identifying terrorist content on the Internet, so global online platforms are forced to make challenging judgement calls based on very limited information and guidance."

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