Twitter, Oh Twitter IV.



Twitter is pulling a “look at us, we’re doing something, we really are, look!” They are busy suspending accounts which they think are promoting extremism and terrorism.

Twitter said Thursday it has suspended 235,000 accounts as part of its crackdown on accounts that have violated policies on the promotion of extremism and terrorism over the last six months. With the latest move, the total number of suspended accounts in the past year has reached 360,000.

In February, the microblogging platform announced that 125,000 accounts had been banned for the same reasons since mid-2015. Twitter joined the fight against terrorism after it faced criticism over the level of extremist content that was detected on its network. Twitter said daily suspensions of terrorism-linked accounts have jumped 80 percent since last year and that such suspensions usually rise just after terrorist attacks.

“The world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe,” Twitter said in a statement. “We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.”

Twitter said it has expanded its teams that review reported violations, and also expanded the number of groups it works with to counter violent extremism online.


“Our work is not done,” Twitter said on its blog post, adding: “Our efforts continue to drive meaningful results, including a significant shift in this type of activity off of Twitter.”

I’ll say your work isn’t done, it isn’t even started yet. Hell, it isn’t even acknowledged. I don’t have any problem with suspending accounts which have no point except to spread hatred and violence, but I can’t help seeing this as a smoke and mirrors move on the part of Twitter execs who do not want to face the real problem – that their platform is made for, and largely supported by trolls who delight in vicious harassment. Twitter has been taken to task about this so many times now, and they always have excuses, there are always plenty of harrumphs and paragraphs of glib nothingness, but no solutions provided, no changes made. Oh yes, they banned Milo whateveritis, and while I’m sure that helped some, this still leaves just about every woman and person of colour on that platform open to vile harassment on a large scale. No one should have to be utterly exhausted at the end of each day, attempting to filter and block, just because they want to engage in some friendly banter, update, or exchange news. Twitter could be a good platform, but it would require sweeping changes, and Twitter would have to take a hit by removing their troll base, and I’m pretty sure that won’t happen.

Via Raw Story.


  1. says

    The US government is the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide. How is Twitter planning to deal with statements supporting the US regime’s heinous crimes?

  2. sonofrojblake says

    How would you have Twitter change?

    What are they doing/not doing that you would have them stop/do? I don’t use Twitter. I tried, and simply don’t see its appeal. I get that others do, though. What I’m not clear on is how they could continue to enable people “to engage in some friendly banter, update, or exchange news” but prevent large scale harassment from happening. Obviously they should do something, but in all the condemnation of them I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot), I’ve not seen much in the way of positive, implementable solutions that would work on their scale. So: what’s to be done?

  3. says

    sonofrojblake -- I’d like Twitter to piss off Peter Theil. That way everyone wins.

    Snark aside, I don’t like uncurated comments, period. You just wind up with tons of crap.

  4. says

    @ 3:

    You know, people all over keep bringing up good ideas for what Twitter could do, but if you aren’t seeing them, there must be a reason. Suggestions here, on a recent post:

    Twitter could deploy software is already has for all users; it could implement inline, easy tools for curating comments and tailoring feeds; they could start taking all complaints seriously, rather than only taking action when it comes to losing a celeb account. Lots of every day people get the same, exact harassment, but Twitter doesn’t care about those people, and they should. These are simple things, easily doable. The reason they aren’t done is exactly for the reasons I stated. And other people have said the same damn thing. Twitter doesn’t want to lose its troll base.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Thank you, that does explain a lot, clearly.
    In fact the only thing it doesn’t explain is why Twitter isn’t doing all this already.
    The other thing I don’t “get” about Twitter is -- where’s the money? If these things are easy to do, in what way would they impact Twitter’s revenue stream? Because that’s surely the only reason they’re not being done. Someone somewhere has made the calculation that doing those things will cost money, not just to implement, but on an ongoing basis.

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