Muslims WorldWide

Twitter shut down 235,000 accounts linked to Islamic State in six months


Twitter’s terror crackdown: Social network says it has shut down over 235,000 accounts linked to Islamic State and other groups in six months

  • Using spam-fighting tech to automatically seek out and flag accounts
  • Overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015 
  • Groups known to use social media for communication and recruitment 

Twitter has revealed it has shut down over 235,000 accounts in just six months for ‘for violating our policies related to promotion of terrorism’.

Earlier this year the firm said it was using  spam-fighting technology to seek out and automatically flag accounts that might be promoting terrorist activity.

Now, it has revealed a dramatic rise in the number of accounts banned.

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa: Twitter is now using spam-fighting technology to seek out and automatically flag accounts that might be promoting terrorist activity.

100,00 TWEETS A DAY

Last year Europe’s police chief warned Jihadis are sending up to 100,000 Twitter messages a day to plot terrorism.

In a chilling account of how IS is exploiting technology, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol and ex-MI5 officer, urged social media firms to help authorities stem the terrorist threat, saying that encrypted communications were the ‘most significant challenge’ to tackling terrorism.

IS is known to use encrypted tweets to recruit fighters and ‘jihadi brides’, including the three British girls who fled to Syria earlier this year.

‘Earlier this year, we announced we had suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 for violating our longtime prohibition on violent threats and the promotion of terrorism and shared the steps we are taking as a company to combat this content.

‘Since that announcement, the world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe.

‘We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.

‘While our work is not done, today we are announcing that we have suspended an additional 235,000 accounts for violating our policies related to promotion of terrorism in the six months since our February 2016 post. ‘

Daily suspensions are up over 80 percent since last year, with spikes in suspensions immediately following terrorist attacks, it said.

The firm claims its response time for suspending reported accounts, the amount of time these accounts are on Twitter, and the number of followers they accumulate have all decreased dramatically.

‘We have also made progress in disrupting the ability of those suspended to immediately return to the platform,’ it said.

‘We have expanded the teams that review reports around the clock, along with their tools and language capabilities.’

This brings the overall number of suspensions to 360,000 since the middle of 2015.

The firm also said it cooperates with law enforcement entities ‘when appropriate’ on the project.

In July 2015, FBI Director James Comey recognized Twitter’s commitment to blocking terrorist content, praising us as ‘very good and thoughtful and hardworking at trying to shut down [terrorism-related] accounts.’

The firm said it has ‘always sought to strike a balance between the enforcement of our own Twitter Rules covering prohibited behaviors, the legitimate needs of law enforcement, and the ability of users to share their views freely – including views that some people may disagree with or find offensive.’


HOW ISLAMIC STATE USES TWITTER

Web-savvy militants fighting for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq could control as many as 90,000 Twitter accounts worldwide, allowing them to spread their sickening propaganda with ease.

The terror group is able to ‘exert an outsized impact on how the world perceives it’ because of its shrewd use of social media and sheer number of online followers, terror experts have concluded.

Recommendations in the report by the Washington-based Brookings Institute report last year include governments and social media companies working together to find new ways to tackle the problem of pro-ISIS accounts spreading horrific murder videos and images and jihadist rhetoric.


‘As many experts and other companies have noted, there is no “magic algorithm” for identifying terrorist content on the internet, so global online platforms are forced to make challenging judgement calls based on very limited information and guidance.

‘In spite of these challenges, we will continue to aggressively enforce our Rules in this area, and engage with authorities and other relevant organizations to find solutions to this critical issue and promote powerful counter-speech narratives.’

Last year Europe’s police chief warned Jihadis are sending up to 100,000 Twitter messages a day to plot terrorism.

In a chilling account of how IS is exploiting technology, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol and ex-MI5 officer, urged social media firms to help authorities stem the terrorist threat, saying that encrypted communications were the ‘most significant challenge’ to tackling terrorism.


ISIS VS ANONYMOUS

ISIS militants have hit back at hacking collective Anonymous’ attempts at declaring a cyber war, branding them ‘idiots’.

The hacking group promised to hunt down militant jihadists online following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week which left 129 people dead.

However, ISIS jihadists, who use a number of encrypted apps an internet services to communicate and use social media under the radar, are clearly unimpressed with Anonymous’ efforts.

In response to the declaration of war, ISIS affiliate the Islamic Cyber Army took to encrypted smartphone-messaging app Telegram to dismiss Anonymous as ‘idiots’.


‘What they gonna hack…all they can do is hacking twitter accounts, emails, etc…,’  the Islamic Cyber Army wrote according to New York Magazine.

‘Do not make your email same as your username on twitter this mistake cost many ansar [users sympathetic to ISIS] their accounts and the kuffar [non-Muslims] published their IP, so be careful.’

IS is known to use encrypted tweets to recruit fighters and ‘jihadi brides’, including the three British girls who fled to Syria earlier this year.

Saying that IS has 50,000 Twitter accounts, Mr Wainwright told a BBC radio investigation: ‘We’ve built our counter-terrorist capability in recent years very much on the basis of being able to monitor their communications.

‘As the communications of terrorist networks and criminal groups have moved increasingly [online], it’s opened up a whole new wave of problems for us even in the open internet, let alone the Darknet.’

Last year Europe¿s police chief warned Jihadis are sending up to 100,000 Twitter messages a day to plot terrorism.

Last year Europe’s police chief warned Jihadis are sending up to 100,000 Twitter messages a day to plot terrorism.

Earlier this year, ISIS militants have hit back at hacking collective Anonymous’ attempts at declaring a cyber war, branding them ‘idiots’.

The hacking group promised to hunt down militant jihadists online following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week which left 129 people dead.

However, ISIS jihadists, who use a number of encrypted apps an internet services to communicate and use social media under the radar, are clearly unimpressed with Anonymous’ efforts.

5 thoughts on “Twitter shut down 235,000 accounts linked to Islamic State in six months

Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s