Twitter cracks down on extremist groups

Twitter has long been a platform where people can get the latest news from almost anywhere in the world as well as where people can freely express their beliefs and opinions. The problem is, Twitter has an abuse problem. People are using the platform to spread hate and it has been used by groups to plan terrorist attacks.

Despite claims that Twitter has continuously failed to address the abuse problem, the microblogging service announced that it has suspended 360,000 accounts related to extremist groups since the middle of 2015. Earlier this year, Twitter announced the suspension of 125,000 accounts that have been known to violate the service’s policy on violent threats and promotion of terrorism. Since the first announcement, Twitter has suspended a further 235,000 accounts for violating its policies, bringing its total to 360,000 suspended accounts.

Twitter is aware that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are more accounts it needs to ban for the service to become a safe place again. It is aware that there is no one “magic algorithm” to identify terrorist content on the Internet, but it has implemented spam-fighting tools to supplement abuse reports from users and to identify and take down accounts that promote terrorism.

Twitter is not fighting the battle alone. It has expanded its partnership with counter violent extremism (CVE) organizations such as Parle-moi d’Islam (France), Imams Online (UK), Wahid Foundation (Indonesia), The Sawab Center (UAE), and True Islam (US) to empower credible non-governmental voices against violent extremism. Twitter has attended government-convened summits on CVE hosted by the French Interior Ministry and the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency in the last six months.

Twitter is also working with law enforcement to bring these extremist groups down.

New features for all users

In related news, Twitter is expanding its quality filter feature to more users. The feature was first introduced to verified users last year. When the feature is turned on, low quality tweets such as duplicate content and automated tweets will be hidden from the user’s feed.

Twitter’s notification setting also received an update as it is now accessible directly from the notifications tab on the app. But the major update is being able to limit notifications only to people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com. This is useful for people who often find themselves getting bashed or threatened by trolls on Twitter.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

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