Twitter rolls out automated software to root out and ban members who advocate violence

By John Glenday | Reporter

March 22, 2017 | 2 min read

Twitter has upped its game in the fight against online hate speech by rolling out an automated tool which it says can help identify and ban rogue users who advocate politically or religiously motivated violence.

The new software means Twitter is now has a means of being proactive in removing this sort of offensive material instead of being reliant upon reports from more conscientious users or the government.

In its latest ‘transparency report’ Twitter revealed that it had suspended no less than 377,000 accounts alone in the first six months of 2016 alone for promoting terrorism, equating to around 63,000 takedowns a month.

Of these some 74% were weeded out by Twitter’s own ‘proprietary spam-fighting tools’, a marked increase from the one third share reported last year, with less than 2% removed on account of a formal complaint lodged by a government.

Over the course of the second half of 2016 Twitter was in receipt of 88 court orders and legal requests to take down content, the vast majority of these (77) flowing from Turkey which is engaged in a crackdown on alleged illegal online activity in the wake of a failed coup.

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Following 11 years in business Twitter has belatedly pledged to crack down on trolls in January with a series of 'long overdue' harrassment fixes.


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