Twitter has released its twelfth Transparency Report, revealing the lengths it has gone to in eradicating user accounts linked to terrorism.
According to Twitter, the report promises to “continue to expand and build upon our commitment to providing meaningful transparency about requests we receive to disclose account information or remove content”.
Drilling down on the period from July 1 to December 31 of 2017, Twitter permanently suspended 274,460 accounts in an effort to curb online terrorist activity.
The social media platform acknowledged the number was “down 8.4 per cent from the volume shared in the previous reporting period and is the second consecutive reporting period in which we’ve seen a drop in the number of accounts being suspended for this reason.”
Adding, “We continue to see the positive, significant impact of years of hard work making our site an undesirable place for those seeking to promote terrorism, resulting in this type of activity increasingly shifting away from Twitter.”
Another major area discussed in the report was the potential loss of freedom of expression online.
Touching on the different legislation being passed globally surrounding social media use, the report noted the destructive impact these new laws could have on freedom of expression.
“With the passage of new legislation and ongoing regulatory discussions taking place around the world about the future of public discourse online, we are seeing a potential chilling effect with regards to freedom of expression.”
“According to Human Rights Watch, the wave of regulatory pressure in Europe and beyond is setting an emerging precedent and creating a ‘domino effect’ as ‘governments around the world increasingly look to restrict online speech by forcing social media companies to act as their censors’.”
“As regulators explore further potential restrictions, transparency is one of the most important ways we can continue to protect freedom of expression.
“Twitter is proud of our industry-leading policies regarding transparency about content restrictions.”
As a platform which broadcasts unfettered content from users, and has gained its huge user base from doing so, it’s easy to understand why legislation that restricts content would be seen as a threat to Twitter.
In February, Twitter posted its first quarterly profit since it listed as a public company in 2013.
In the last three months of 2017, Twitter posted a profit of $117.1 million – up significantly from a loss of $214.8 million during the same period in 2016.
At the time, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey described the quarterly result as a “strong finish to the year”.
“We returned to revenue growth, achieved our goal of GAAP profitability, increased our shipping cadence, and reached five consecutive quarters of double-digit DAU growth,” he said.
“I’m proud of the steady progress we made in 2017, and confident in our path ahead.”