Research concludes Twitter plays host to around 50,000 pro-Isis accounts

A recent purge of pro-Islamic State Twitter accounts appears to have done little to stem the tide of terror sympathisers online, according to new research co-authored by the Brookings Institution.

The Isis Twitter census concluded that there are at least 46,000 Twitter accounts promulgating messages in support of the Middle East terror organisation, the bulk of whom originate from within Iraq and Syria.

Whilst acknowledging that many of these are likely to be duplicate accounts, a counter measure against deletion, the true figure is likely to be even higher as most were created last year – just as a Twitter purge was in full swing.

An estimated 1,000 such accounts were closed down in the final months of 2014 but the rate of account creation means that the absolute number of accounts continues to rise.

A typical Isis account has an average of 1,000 followers, three quarters of whom tweet in Arabic with one in five using English.

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