Twitter Shuts Down 10,000 ‘Terrorist’ Accounts

Twitter Shuts Down 10,000 'Jihadist' Accounts
Photo from the Daily Grail

Twitter has shut down approximately around 10,000 accounts linked to jihadist extremists.

On April 2, social media platform Twitter decided to shut down about 10,000 accounts suspected of using the platform for promoting violence— all of them said to be owned by jihadist extremists or their supporters.

Twitter’s suspension of the accounts is said to be the largest to have ever been carried out by the social media platform, with all accounts— over 10,000 of them— almost simultaneously shut down within a 24-hour period.

Reports speculate that the move by Twitter follows an “all-out war” waged against the terrorists by the group of hackers called Anonymous.

Although Twitter refused to disclose detailed information about the massive suspension of the accounts, the social media giant confirmed that the purge was made to stop jihadist Twitter users from using the platform to promote threats of violence.

A report by NDTV Gadgets claims that a representative from a so-called division labelled as the “violations department”— which was supposedly set up by Twitter to handle cases such as these— confirmed that all 10,000 or more of the suspended accounts were being used by ISIS militants as well as supporters of the terror group.

The source from the said department, who reportedly talked to NDTV Gadgets on the condition of anonymity for safety reasons, revealed that the massive suspension of accounts were carried out by Twitter largely due to an enormous number of reports received by both the members of the public as well as a number of online activists.

Speculators believe that the purge was, without a doubt, prompted by the ‘Operation Anti-ISIS’ campaign initiated by Anonymous hackers. The group declared a war against the terrorists several months ago, which was made in retaliation to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris which ISIS claimed responsibility for.

Although Twitter maintains that it stands by its commitment to promote freedom of speech on the social media platform, it says that the use of its social network for promoting violence and hate will not be tolerated.

Experts have already earlier told that the alarming rate at which the number of extremists associated with terrorist grow can be largely attributed ISIS’ use of the social media to showcase their propagandas and promote violence and hatred.

Despite Twitter’s successful effort to shut down a massive number of accounts associated with the jihadist extremists, however, another fact still remains— that ISIS still holds about 80,000 social media accounts which they use to promote their violent ideology.

Another problem the social network is confronted with is the fact that as soon as they take down one account, another is almost certainly created to replace it.

7 Comments

  • TommyVercetti says:

    I know the knee-jerk reaction here is one of praise for Twitter for finally taking a step fighting against terrorist accounts and tweets, but let’s examine it on the grand scheme of things: When can censoring material be acceptable? If it shows something illegal, or promotes something illegal, I suppose. But what about if you are just expressing an opinion? In what category these terrorist accounts belong? It can be argued that Twitter is infriging on some of these people’s free speech, controversial though it may be. It just like when countries like when middle Eastern countries ban Twitter and facebook.

    If they are inciting violence though, or recruiting to incite violence, or using their twitter to coordinate violence, I’m all for taking it down; no argument there.

  • bellak0 says:

    I agree with TommyVercetti, but I would also like to say that freedom of speech is acceptable when complying with the law, just like freedom of religion, until you use religion to justify terrorist attacks and/or murder. Expressing opinions is ok, expressing opinions that infringe on the law is not, or at least on basic human rights (I can’t speak for every country when I say “the law” because not all laws are universal). I also appreciate that Twitter actually confirmed that these were actual ISIS militant accounts, as I’ve seen too many accounts shut down with no serious reason. Good to know that Twitter is spending time on shutting down the accounts that directly threaten our safety. In the end though, I don’t think there will be much of an effect, because more jihadists will just open new accounts, faster than Twitter can find and delete. ISIS is much too clever to allow something like that to deter them, and, like the article said, social media is one of the fastest ways to spread these violent ideologies, which they know and utilize. Unless we shut down the entire Twitter database and every other media site… but that will never happen.

  • Jessica Erdman says:

    Go Twitter! This is scary…

  • cyborg says:

    Censorship is a slippery slope. I agree with shutting down these terrorist accounts, since they were actual terrorists who are committing heinous crimes even if it is futile since they can open new ones very easily – but what will they censor next? I’m worried about freedom of speech being taken away. What if somebody simply wants to express a negative opinion?

  • oraclemay says:

    I think this is a brilliant move on behalf of twitter. It is a fact that these people have been inciting violence and we know that all social networks have terms of service which do not allow such behavior. Well done Twitter for taking a stand!

  • silverborn says:

    I’m really glad they did this. I can’t believe they would let those scums post their filth without when they had the power to shut them off. Now they should also get their locations with the IP’s and arrest them if they can.

  • xSentaru says:

    Later this week, Twitter also announced they will take special measures regarding the trolls of Twitter. Now this? The Twitter team is surely going for the long run! As an avid Twitter user, I’m frankly quite happy with those changes, they’re all for the greater good!

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