In response to criticism from many world governments that it isn’t doing enough to combat terrorist speech, Twitter has revealed that over 360,000 accounts have been deleted for promoting terrorism since the middle of 2015. Most of these accounts were associated with the terrorist group ISIS. The company stated that its removal of terrorist related content has jumped 80% compared to the previous year and that it has reduced response time to deal with such content.
Twitter mostly relies on users to identify and flag content that is promoting terrorism, however the company stated that it has increased the size of the team that reviews flagged content. The company states that automated systems cannot be used to identify extremist content, but it does rely on them to identify repeat infractions from the same users, or to detect suspended users operating under a new account. Twitter is also collaborating with other social media sites to develop best practices for dealing with terrorist content.
Twitter has also been working to improve its platform in other ways. A post on the official Twitter blog has announced two new features that are intended to give users more control over their experience on the platform. The first feature is a settings option which will allow users to turn off all notifications except those from accounts that they follow. This feature is turned off by default.
The second feature is called a quality filter, which is supposed to remove “low quality” content such as duplicate tweets or accounts which appear to be automated. Unlike the other newly announced feature, the quality filter is on by default and must be turned off in the settings if someone doesn’t want to use it. Twitter states that the quality filter will learn and improve over time. The quality filter was made available to verified accounts last year during a testing phase before being made available to the wider userbase.
Is Twitter doing enough to counter terrorist promotion on its platform? How do you feel about the new features Twitter has introduced? Leave your comments below.