Twitter Keeps Suspending Accounts That Back Terrorism

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By Alexis Kramer

Twitter Inc. suspended 377,000 accounts in the last half of 2016 for violating its rule against promoting terrorism, according to the social network’s latest transparency report.

Between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2016, Twitter received 716 government requests worldwide that referenced 5,929 accounts and sought removal of content in violation of that rule, Twitter said in the March 21 report. Twitter said it responded by removing content from 5,000 accounts, 85 percent of the total.

Twitter has been suspending accounts used to promote terrorism since at least mid-2015. But the latest semi-annual report is the first to include Twitter’s progress in combating the issue. Since January 2016, Twitter has been hit with five lawsuits alleging that it provided material support to the Islamic State Group by allowing the group to use its platform, Bloomberg Law data show. So far one court has ruled that Twitter can’t be held liable under federal law for the claim ( Fields v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00213 (N.D. Cal. 11/18/16) (case dismissed)).

Twitter said it is working to include in future transparency reports the requests it receives from governments to remove content violating other Twitter rules, such as impersonating accounts and other abusive content.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at aKramer@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

For More Information

Twitter's transparency report is available at https://transparency.twitter.com/.

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