The global social media platform Twitter announced that it suspended 125,00 accounts that were threatening or promoting terrorism, primarily on behalf of the Islamic State, since the middle of last year, CNBC reported Friday.
The announcement is the first time that Twitter indicated the scope of terror-related activity on its network. A Brookings Institution study last year estimated that Islamic State supporters were using at least 46,000 Twitter accounts. The figure reported by Twitter suggests either that more terrorists are using the platform, or that the company has been doing a better job of finding them.
Twitter said that it increased the size of teams that investigate reports of potential terrorist accounts, which the service is also independently identifying with proprietary software.
“We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter,” the company said in a statement.
Twitter’s announcement comes as social media is facing increased scrutiny for its reported role in inspiring a husband and wife to carry out a terror attack killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California last December.
The use of social media in encouraging terrorist attacks against Israelis has also prompted greater scrutiny of various platforms. The aunt of one of the Palestinian girls who stabbed an Israeli security guard on Thursday said that the pair may have been incited to violence by videos they saw on social media. The son of Richard Lakin, an American-Israeli teacher and peace activist who died in October due to injuries sustained in a Palestinian terror attack, also said that his father was the victim of “a tremendous amount of incitement and hate” on social media.
20,000 Israelis filed a lawsuit in October demanding that Facebook do more to shut down pages that incite violence on the platform.
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