Twitter Inc. said that it suspended more than 1.2 million accounts from its social media platform from August 2015 to the end of 2017 for “violations related to the promotion of terrorism.”
Twitter also reported that the suspensions were on a downswing.
They included 274,460 suspended accounts in the second half of 2017, which were down 8.4% from the previous reporting period and the second consecutive period “in which we’ve seen a drop in the number of accounts being suspended for this reason,” Twitter said in a blog post covering its 12th biannual “transparency report.”
Twitter also said 74% of the accounts involved in the latest reporting period “were suspended before their first tweet.”
“We continue to see the positive, significant impact of years of hard work making our site an undesirable place for those seeking to promote terrorism, resulting in this type of activity increasingly shifting away from Twitter,” the company said.
The company said that 93% of the 274,460 accounts suspended in last half of 2017 “were flagged by [the company’s] internal, proprietary tools” and that government reports of such violations accounted for only 0.2% of all suspensions.
Twitter started mass suspensions in the early 2014 after being criticized for not taking measures to block users who promote terrorism.
In December 2015, after the mass shooting in San Bernardino that left 14 dead, President Obama called on Twitter and other tech leaders to “make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.”
Last year, relatives of the victims of the attack filed a federal lawsuit against Twitter, Google and Facebook, accusing the tech giants of knowingly supporting Islamic State and its extremist agenda.
The lawsuit contends the companies allowed Islamic State to build an outsize online presence and propagate its extremist beliefs and draw recruits, such as the couple who carried out the attacks on the San Bernardino social services center.