Twitter To Suspend 1M Terrorism Accounts; Troll, Fake News Face Shutdown

By Charlie Monforte | Mar 23, 2017 10:09 AM EDT

Twitter is nearing 1 million mark, as it suspended a total of 736,890 accounts including the latest figure of 376,890 accounts for violations related to promotion of terrorism. The latest figure came out from Twitter's suspension activities between July 1 to December 31 last year. But the other hand, Twitter and other social media companies have yet to substantially counter the other problem of trolling and fake news including hate news and views.

Twitter earlier suspended 125,000 accounts and 235,000 accounts for the same reason between mid 2015 and early 2016, and six months after to August 2016, respectively. The latest figure of 376,890 accounts was stated in the new section of Twitter's biannual Transparency Report. The company said that 74% of the accounts it had suspended had been found by internal, proprietary spam-fighting tools while also relying on user reports to combat spam. But still there is a problem on how terrorism contents be eliminated as there is a tendency for them to re-emerge elsewhere."

Other social media companies have yet to bare their respective efforts. Late last year Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube agreed to collaborate to speed up takedowns of terrorist contents. Twitter and Facebook have come under pressure to counter the problem on troll and fake news.  The criticism came especially after the last U.S. elections when social media platforms became avenues to skew political discourse by incentivizing the sharing of misinformation and enabling the propagation of far right extremist views, said a news report of BBC. In the Philippines and elsewhere, there have been a lot of complaints about trolls and fake news idolizing the government and ever trolling hateful abusive language demonizing oppositionists.

Moreover, there are also the issues on botnets working to amplify far-right political views via the use of automated spam tactics and on political bot-troll armies funded by vested political interests. A research said that Twitter's tweets contained 15 percent bots, but other analysts said that Twitter is not really keen to nix millions of robot accounts as not all bots are seeking to subvert democracy and bad. January this year Twitter discovered 350,000 botnets but said there are also "extremely beneficial bots." Analysts said that with the rather confusing stand of Twitter on bots, it will continue to have political bot-troll problem.


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