Technology

Twitter shut down 235K terror-linked accounts since February

Twitter has shut down 235,000 accounts over the last six months for promoting terrorism.

The social media company announced the figure Thursday, touting its commitment "to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform."

In total, Twitter has shut down over 360,000 accounts since mid-2015, including 125,000 it announced it took down last February.

"Since that announcement [in February], the world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe," the tech firm said in a blog post.

Twitter has long championed itself as a tool for free speech and open communication but has received criticism for its handling of abuse directed toward women and minorities, as well as over concerns that extremist views are flourishing on the platform. In particular, law enforcement officials have warned about the use of social media as a recruitment tool for terror groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

After the attack in San Bernardino last December, President Obama said he would urge tech leaders to "make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice."

Twitter says that its daily suspensions for terrorist activity have increased by 80 percent since last year. The company cited refined techniques that help it more quickly catch suspended users when they try to create new accounts. But Twitter cautioned that there is no "'magic algorithm' for identifying terrorist content on the Internet."

The company plans to "continue to invest in both technology and other resources in the future," and will provide regular reports starting in 2017 with its new Transparency Report.

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