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Twitter suspends accounts linked with terrorism

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Twitter is making headway in tackling online terrorism content on its platform as it suspended more than 166,000 accounts in the second half of 2018, the social media company said on Thursday.

This is about a fifth less than in the previous period.

Together with Facebook and Google, Twitter is under pressure from regulators and governments worldwide to remove extremist content more rapidly or face more heavy-handed legislation.

Announcing its latest transparency report, the company said its technical tools were producing results, with 91 per cent of accounts promoting terrorism content proactively suspended by its internal technology.

The majority of which happened before their first tweet because the data used to set them up raised red flags.

Twitter suspended 166,153 accounts between July and December 2018 for promoting terrorism, a 19 per cent drop from the 205,156 accounts suspended in the previous six months.

“This sharp decrease is indicative of a larger trend we are now observing — year-on-year the numbers of terrorist organizations attempting to use our service is reducing,’’ Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president for public policy said in a statement.

“This can be attributed to a robust technical approach that we’ve enhanced over many years. We are encouraged by these metrics but will remain vigilant,” she said.

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