In Crackdown, Twitter Suspends 125,000 Accounts Promoting ISIS And Terrorism

In response to mounting pressure from the government, Twitter is cracking down on terrorists who use the platform to troll for support.

In Crackdown, Twitter Suspends 125,000 Accounts Promoting ISIS And Terrorism
[Photo: Aaron Durand, courtesy of Twitter]

For the first time, Twitter is revealing just how seriously it takes the issue of groups like ISIS using its platform to promote terrorism. In a blog post on Friday, the company announced that, since mid-2015, it has shuttered 125,000 accounts—many of which are associated with ISIS—that encourage acts of terrorism.

Twitter said that it has also taken other measures to curb terrorist activity on its platform, including expanding the size of teams that handle the reports on flagged accounts, as well as working with law enforcement agencies when possible. “We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” the company wrote in its blog post. “As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area.”

But as Twitter points out, it isn’t easy to keep tabs on this type of content—especially when the company is trying to preserve some semblance of free speech.

“As an open platform for expression, we have always sought to strike a balance between the enforcement of our own Twitter Rules covering prohibited behaviors, the legitimate needs of law enforcement, and the ability of users to share their views freely—including views that some people may disagree with or find offensive,” said the company in the post.

If that sounds familiar, it could be because Twitter has faced many of the same issues as Reddit when it comes to misuse of its platform. Both companies have been plagued by rampant harassment and hate speech—but unlike Facebook, Reddit and Twitter have long embraced the notion of open discourse, making it more difficult to regulate or censor content that they find distasteful.

About the author

Pavithra Mohan is an assistant editor for Fast Company Digital. Her writing has previously been featured in Gizmodo and Popular Science magazine.