Twitter’s tenth transparency report shows massive scale of fight against extremism

Twitter’s tenth transparency report shows massive scale of fight against extremism
Credit: Twitter

The latest in Twitter’s transparency briefs shows how much terrorism effects the flow of social media and what the company has been doing to help combat the threat on its popular platform.

Twitter released it’s tenth transparency report today, which covers the back half of 2016. The report includes information on legal requests the company has received, including content removal, copyright violations, and account information requests. The company also discloses what percentage of requests it’s complied with.

The countries which issued the most legal content removal requests — that’s requests issued by governments, organizations, and lawyers representing individuals for removal of content illegal in certain places — were Turkey and France, by a wide margin.

In Turkey’s case, Twitter claimed it withheld tweets that contained “gory images following devastating terror attacks.” Out of the 3,076 requests, Twitter says:

We received 1,368 requests to remove content that cited Article 8/A of Law No. 5651. Many of these requests were submitted regarding terror attacks, the failed coup attempt, and private information leaks in the country. We complied with 414 of these requests by withholding content sharing gory images after bombings and content violating the Anti-Terror Law of Article 7.

As for France, Twitter says:

We withheld content in response to 301 of the requests . . . [which] cited various articles on the Law on the Freedom of the Press as a legal basis for removal, including Article 24 on incitement to discrimination and Article 24 bis on the glorifications of crimes against humanity.

It also withheld a tweet containing a video of the Nice, France attack.

Twitter’s latest report also has a new section showing how many requests it’s gotten from government entities to take down content violating its Terms of Service regarding “the promotion of terrorism.” While this section doesn’t show any demographic information, it does show that Twitter’s support channels received 716 reports on a whopping 5,929 accounts, 85-percent of which were suspended.

The company, however, did point out the number of accounts removed by government request was less than two percent of the total number of accounts suspended for terrorism: 376,890, most of which Twitter found on its own.

Twitter removed as many as 125,000 accounts promoting terrorist actions last year, and the fact that the number is triple that now shows the extent Twitter must go to root out terrorism on its platform.

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