Twitter said today that it removed 376,890 accounts for promoting terrorism during the final six months of 2016, showing a serious increase in the company’s efforts to knock out extremist profiles.
The figure represents more than a 60 percent increase in bans over the last six-month range that Twitter gave, between February and August 2016. While there’s about a month of overlap between that range and the one stated today, there still seems to be a clear increase in Twitter’s efforts here — this six-month period accounts for more than half of the extremist accounts Twitter has removed since it started tracking this figure in mid-2015. The total now sits at 636,248.
Twitter says that the vast majority of these accounts — 74 percent — are being surfaced through its “internal, proprietary spam-fighting tools,” rather than outside reports. The company says that government requests only accounted for 2 percent of the account removals during the last six months of the year.
The update came in Twitter’s latest transparency report, the 10th it’s issued since it began releasing them twice a year in 2012. Twitter’s transparency reports have grown in scope over time to include more and more information. Details on the company’s removal of extremist accounts is the latest addition — previous updates had been given in occasional blog posts — and Twitter says it’ll continue to provide current figures in future reports.