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Twitter Says It Is Weeding Out More Users Promoting Terrorism and Violence

September 19, 2017, 2:09 PM UTC

Twitter said that its internal controls were allowing it to weed out accounts being used for “promotion of terrorism” earlier rather than responding to government requests to close them down.

U.S. and European governments have been pressuring social media companies including Twitter, Facebook (FB), and Alphabet‘s Google (GOOGL) to fight harder against online radicalization, particularly by violent Islamist groups.

Twitter (TWTR) said it had removed 299,649 accounts in the first half of this year for the “promotion of terrorism,” a 20% decline from the previous six months. Three-quarters of those accounts were suspended before posting their first tweet.

Less than 1% of account suspensions were due to government requests, the company said, while 95% were thanks to Twitter’s internal efforts to combat extremist content with “proprietary tools,” up from 74% in the last transparency report.

Twitter defines “promotion of terrorism” as actively inciting or promoting violence “associated with internationally recognized terrorist organizations.”

The vast majority of notices from governments concerned “abusive behavior,” which includes violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and impersonation.