Comms + policy. Author of #digitaldiplomacy (2015), Twitter for Diplomats (2013). My views here.
We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.
Since mid-2015, Twitter has suspended 360,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS. A first batch of 125,000 suspended accounts was announced in February 2016, and an additional 235,000 have been suspended since then, Twitter Public Policy announced yesterday.
Twitter has expanded its ability, teams, and tools to combat violent extremism on the platform, including sharing information and best practices for identifying terrorist content with other social media companies.
Daily suspensions are up over 80 percent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks. Our response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter, and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically.
Twitter Public Policy has also expanded its partnerships with both governments and organizations that work to counter violent extremism (CVE) online. This past year, Twitter has participated in many CVE meetings, including the latest Washington summit of the Global Coalition To Counter ISIS in July, and have worked with groups like Imams Online in the UK and the Sawab Center in the UAE to empower credible non-governmental voices against violent extremism.
ISIS and other related terrorist groups have targeted Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey at least twice in the past year and, back in February, both Dorsey and Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg were threatened by a group that calls itself the Sons Caliphate Army, as reported by CNN’s Hope King.
Despite the fact that only a small percentage of terror-related activity happens on the open web — much of it runs in the so-called dark web — the global efforts to counter violent extremism online are having an important role in cracking the narrative and the reach of terrorist groups on social media platforms, thanks also to the efforts by technology companies like Twitter and Facebook.
We have to pursue efforts, underway across the globe, to counter Daesh’s messaging and to emphasize that Daesh’s many crimes have absolutely no basis whatsoever, no justification in religion, logic, history, or law. Now, these initiatives that we have undertaken to date are having an impact.
— John Kerry, US Secretary of State
A recent study by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center indicates that anti-ISIS content on the Internet now far exceeds pro-ISIS content as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel highlighted in June.
On Twitter only, ISIS-related traffic has decreased by 45% in the past two years, the Sawab Center said in a July 2016 tweet.
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