Twitter has thrown some serious shade at ISIS and other violent extremists. According to a tweet from its @Policy account, the company has banished 125,000 terrorist-related accounts since the middle of 2015. The company is also expanding its team that reviews reports of suspicious user activity. This is the first time that Twitter is revealing the scale of its attempts to shut down extremist sites, though it’s been known to do so for some time. This also comes less than a year after the Brookings Institute said that in 2014 it found just 46,000 Twitter accounts associated with ISIS.
Twitter, it turns out, has teams of specialists in the U.S. and Ireland that scour accounts, looking for those linked to extremist groups or just spewing 140-character calls to violence. “We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism, and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” the company wrote in a statement on Friday. “As the nature of the terrorist threat has changed, so has our ongoing work in this area.”
This announcement comes a month after President Barack Obama held a meeting with Silicon Valley leaders in an attempt to see how they could collectively troll ISIS. But this is a tricky situation for a company that wishes to be seen as a haven for free speech. In 2014, then-CEO Dick Costolo received death threats from ISIS for deleting accounts.