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Twitter triples suspensions of pro-terrorist accounts in one year

Its transparency report also reveals Turkey's attempts to stifle free speech.
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Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If it wasn't already clear that Twitter is serious about stamping out pro-terrorist accounts, it is now. The social network has posted its transparency report for the second half of 2016, which reveals that it suspended over 376,000 accounts for backing terrorism. That's triple the 125,000 it took down one year earlier, and a still-hefty 60 percent more than the 235,000 accounts it pulled in the first half of 2016. While some officials still don't think Twitter is up to snuff (it's not proactively reporting extremist material to police, the UK says), there's no doubt that it's considerably more aggressive.

This latest report is also Twitter's first to directly tackle concerns about censoring journalists and media outlets... and there's one main perpetrator. Out of 88 requests to pull content from verified media sources, 77 of them came from Turkey -- a country whose current administration is notorious for trying to crush online dissent. Twitter says it did pull 14 accounts and 15 tweets in response to Turkish requests, but it also filed objections "whenever possible." As it stands, the country didn't have any success demanding info. Turkey made 493 requests for account details, but was denied every time.

There aren't many other big revelations, but Twitter is promising more news on American data requests. The internet giant now has a space in its US report for touching on those national security letters that are no longer covered by gag orders. You aren't exactly going to see a deluge (just a handful have been disclosed), but this should provide more insight into what law enforcement really wants.

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