Twitter Cracks Down on Terrorism, Suspends 300K Accounts

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Twitter Inc. TWTR continues to take strong steps to fight terrorism by suspending accounts linked with terrorism on its platform.

According to Twitter's latest bi-annual transparency report, the micro blogging site has taken down 299,649 accounts related to extremism in the first half of 2017. Moreover, 95% were taken down after being identified by internal spam fighting tools of the company compared with 74% in the last report .

The company also added that the crackdown on extremist activities on its platform has led to 80% reduction in accounts reported by governments compared to the previous reporting cycle (Jul 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016). Less than 1% accounts were taken down following government requests.

Twitter stated that nearly 75% of the abovementioned accounts were taken down even before they started tweeting, given the strength of internal fighting tools.

Twitter, Inc. Price

Twitter, Inc. Price | Twitter, Inc. Quote

From August 2015 till Jun 30, 2017, Twitter suspended 935,897 accounts in a bid to crackdown on the spread of extremism propaganda, which plagued its service.

Twitter along with Facebook FB and Alphabet's GOOGL Google have been under tremendous pressure to contain dissemination of extremist ideas on their platforms. British PM Theresa May has been quite vocal about this after the Manchester Rock Concert bombing. She along with her French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron urged governments across the globe to create legal paraphernalia to impose sanction/levy fines on companies who fail to curb extremist activities on their platforms.

All social media companies are now developing ways to fight spread of terrorism. Facebook, like Twitter, has deployed AI and is developing advanced algorithms that can detect images, text, pages or groups that seem to promote extremism.

Facebook also emphasized that it is not solely reliant on AI technology to root out extremism. The company has formed a dedicated team of 150 members specializing in countering terrorism over the past few months. The team comprises academic experts on counterterrorism, ex-prosecutors and law enforcement agents as well as engineers.

A few months back, Facebook, along with Twitter, Microsoft Corp. MSFT and Alphabet collaborated to curb extremist activities on social media platforms. The companies said that all of them are getting together to identify the images, video and other media that has radical content, and create a shared database for the same. Facebook said that it was looking to add more partners to this collaboration.

Zacks Rank and Share Price Movement

Twitter carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see  the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, the company has underperformed the  industry  year to date. Shares of Twitter have surged 9% compared with the industry's 19.6% increase.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: FB , GOOGL , TWTR , MSFT

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