Twitter transparency report Explains crackdown on abusive accounts

Twitter has released its most recent transparency report, and in it we see that most of the allegedly abusive accounts reported to it for terms of service violations were allowed to stay live on the service. The reasons vary, according to Twitter, and include things like the company failing to find evidence of content that violated the company terms, as well as a failure on the reporter’s part to identify which content was in violation of Twitter’s TOS.

In March of this year, Twitter added a new section to its transparency reports that details the government Terms of Service requests it gets. In its latest report, it has expanded that category to include a wider range of content removal requests, including things that include trademark and copyright, as well as abusive actions. 

In the latest report, Twitter says that 98% of the government TOS reports it received were related to abusive behaviors. Of that 98% of reports, Twitter says it ‘took action’ on 13% of them, the majority of which didn’t result in having any content removed. The low figure was surprising, but Twitter explains:

As we take an objective approach to processing global Terms of Service reports, the fact that the reporters in these cases happened to be government officials had no bearing on whether any action was taken under our Rules.

Abusive reports aside, the next highest category was related to removing terroristic content, of which this comprised a bit over 2% of the global reports. The company says that its efforts in cracking down on this kind of content has resulted in an 80% drop in government-reported accounts for this (year-on-year).

As well, 95% of account suspensions in this category were due to Twitter’s own efforts, not due to government requests. Overall, the company suspended 935,897 accounts over terrorism promotion between August 2015 and the end of June 2017.

SOURCE: Twitter Blog