Twitter is fighting with ISIS in its own way to prevent the group from misusing its platform. Twitter has undertaken the operation of deactivating the accounts linked to ISIS and its supporters very seriously in the last few days, and more than 2,000 accounts have been suspended by it, says a report from ABC News, which cites people having knowledge on the matter.
Not because of government pressure
ISIS is aiming at recruiting fighters from 90 countries, and for this it has successfully leveraged most social media platforms, and Twitter is one of those, believe top U.S. security officials.
One of the people with knowledge of the matter reportedly told ABC News that this suspension spree has not been undertaken by Twitter because of pressure from the U.S. government. Rather, the U.S. intelligence community would want those accounts to remain active so that it can keep a constant watch on them.
The person further said these suspensions have taken place because of the increased media reporting leading to higher public awareness and more user-generated policy violation reports. For instance, making direct, specific threats of violence against others is against Twitter’s policy.
Suspension follows threat to Twitter from ISIS
It is interesting to note that the reports of suspensions of the accounts follow a threat from ISIS on Monday. An online post which was shared by ISIS supporters called on jihadis to attack Twitter employees. The post also used a photo of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
J.M. Berger, a terrorism analyst who monitors online messaging by ISIS, said the accounts that have been suspended by Twitter include the accounts of those who acted as messengers of ISIS. “Twitter has been doing a whole lot over the past week. They’ve slammed them pretty hard, including the official media distribution guys,” Berger said. ISIS had 16 major distribution accounts, and the recent shutdown included 13 of them.
As of now, there has been no official information from Twitter except from the rhetoric statement by its spokesperson that the company’s security team is “investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials.”