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Twitter tackles extremism: Over 636,000 accounts suspended since 2015

Twitter tackles extremism: Over 636,000 accounts suspended since 2015
Twitter Inc announced it has suspended over 636,000 accounts since mid-2015 in an effort to tackle “violent extremism.” The company has also begun taking “legal requests to remove content posted by verified journalists and media outlets.”

The company suspended 376,890 accounts for violations related to the promotion of terrorism in the second half of 2016 alone, according to its transparency report released Tuesday.

The bi-annual report includes a new section, Government TOS reports, which includes requests made by governments “against the promotion of terrorism.” According to the report, Twitter received 716 reports about 5,929 accounts, with 85 of those being “actioned.”

Removal requests “include worldwide legal requests we have received from governments and other authorized reporters to remove or withhold content,” the report explains.

Twitter said it received 88 requests to remove content by verified journalists and media outlets, but didn’t take action in most of those cases. It reported 88 percent of those requests came from Turkey. The tweets Twitter did withhold included gory images following devastating terror attacks and “content violating a National Security Council decision that was issued after the failed coup.”

The transparency report also highlights requests made by governments for account information. The US made the most government requests for such information: 2,304. In 82 percent of those cases, Twitter sent some information.

Japan came second, with 977 requests, 64 percent of which were given information. The UK, France and Turkey were the next highest in terms of account requests.

The company works with “Trusted Reporters,” a number of European organizations that report hate speech. It received 1,434 requests from July-December 2016 from these partners.