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Reports Reveal that Twitter Account Suspension is Pushing Extremists Back

It's no secret that extremist groups have been implementing social media for recruiting members and generally spreading their messages. Governments and moderators alike have done what they can to stem the tide, but ostensibly, it seems to have been something of a losing battle. The sad factor of the matter is, the Daesh and other groups like them aren't neophytes, they understand how to use social media without setting off tripwires.

That being said, a ray of hope seems to have broken through in the form of a new Twitter report. Titled 'The Islamic State's Diminishing Returns on Twitter' and conducted by the Program on Extremism at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University, the report found that as accounts affiliated with Daesh were routinely suspended, repeat offences were significantly reduced.

Beyond that, it was found that accounts which had been suspended failed to regain their follower counts, and that the suspensions significantly decreased the overall level of activity. Twitter is the main port of call for the Daesh, and other similar groups, affiliated or otherwise. They have a presence on other platforms, but nowhere near the same kind of reach. With that in mind, knowing that Twitter's attempts to hold them back are actually working is very encouraging.

Vox (JM Berger/Heather Perez)

The fact remains that eradicating any activity from Twitter completely is almost impossible, but in terms of things like extremism, reduced activity is the next best thing. Sure, suspended users can create new accounts and carry on, but building the same audience figures up again is both difficult and time consuming. This is by no means a knockout blow to Daesh's online presence, but it most certainly slows them down, and its suggestive of other strategies going forward that might stymie them further still.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Reports Reveal that Twitter Account Suspension is Pushing Extremists Back Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, February 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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