Twitter Removed More Than 125,000 Accounts In Fight Against Radical Islamic Millitants

By Staff Writer

Feb 06, 2016 04:38 AM EST

Twitter, the San Francisco based social media site has announced on Friday suspending more than 125,000 accounts over the past six months. The suspension move removes the accounts on the allegation of threatening or promoting terrorism mainly related to the Islamic States, also known as ISIL or ISIS. This is the first time; Twitter has disclosed the number of accounts deleted.

Twitter and other social sites have been criticized heavily for not effectively policing against the extremist groups. Pressure has been mounted up from Obama administration and other president hopefuls in the verge of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino County, reports USA Today.

The IS use popular Internet services, such as Twitter and Facebook, as platforms to spread propaganda and to attract new potential recruits. The terrorist group has been using Twitter as a mean to celebrate terrorist attacks and publicize executions.

However, cracking down on users promoting violence online has been a tough challenge for social media companies since it coincides with free speech and privacy. Furthermore, several new accounts are popped up back following pulling down one account, reports SiliconBeat.

Twitter has used "proprietary spam-fighting tools" to detect accounts connected to terrorism. The company has also beefed up the size of its team reviewing accounts for suspension. However, detail on size of the team or their working pace hasn't been shared yet, reports The Hill.

Meanwhile, Facebook has also been working aggressively to keep terrorist contents off the service using technology developed to root out ISIL contents. Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg has also appealed for spreading anti-ISIL content to counter ISIL on Facebook. The appeal has been made at the summit of World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

The highlighting of the anti terrorism efforts taken by the tech giants are probably aimed to convince the law makers of Senate Intelligence Committee at Capitol Hill. It has proposed a bill introducing a legislation requiring internet service providers to inform the government on terrorist activities over their platforms.

The bill has modeled such terrorist activities off child pornography laws. However, tech companies have opposed the bill citing the two issues are fundamentally different.

Brett McGurk, leader of the State Department's efforts to build support against ISIS, has applauded Twitter's welcoming move. Meanwhile, Adam Schiff, a ranking democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has termed Twitter's move as an important part of the fight against radical Islam.

Barack Obama and the President hopefuls have taken a clear stunt criticizing the social media sites for their poor efforts in abetting terrorism. Instigated with the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino County, both Twitter and Facebook have adopted specific measures in this regard. Twitter approaches one step ahead through removing more than 125,000 accounts related to terrorism during the last six months.

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