Twitter suspends 1.2 million accounts for posting terrorist content

Twitter tumult
Twitter says its making progress in abuse crackdown. (Northeastern University Graphic)

Twitter took down more than 1.2 million accounts for tweeting terrorism-related content between 2015-2017, the company announced in its biannual transparency report Thursday.

The announcement is part of Twitter’s broader effort to be more transparent about bad actors on its platform. Twitter has endured a steady clip of criticism for allowing trolls, bots, terrorists, and sexual harassers to spread toxic content on the site.

Twitter is trying to show progress in its war on abuse. In Thursday’s announcement, the company said it has seen a decline in terrorist-linked content, an indicator internal tools are working. In the latest reporting period of July-December 2017, Twitter suspended 274,460 accounts for promoting terrorism, down 8.4 percent from the previous period.

“Of those 274,460 accounts suspended in the last reporting period, 93 percent were flagged by internal, proprietary tools, and 74 percent of those accounts were suspended before their first Tweet,” Twitter said.

Twitter’s news comes the day after Facebook announced broad changes to how third-party apps access user data. Facebook and Twitter are both navigating controversies related to their growing political influence.