October 31, 2019 / 3:15 PM / 22 days ago

Twitter says tech tools remove one in two abusive tweets in first-half

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Twitter’s technology tools removed one in two tweets containing abusive content posted in the first half of this year, it said on Thursday, amid calls to the U.S. social media company and its peers to do more to tackle the issue.

Silicon Valley tech giants have in recent months pledged to tighten rules and share more information on abusive content posted on their platforms to avoid more heavy-handed regulatory action on both sides of the Atlantic.

Twitter said in its transparency report that it was investing in proactive technology to reduce the burden on people reporting abusive content to the company.

“More than 50 percent of tweets we remove for abuse are now proactively surfaced using technology, rather than relying on reports to Twitter,” the company said. That compared with 20% a year ago.

The report came a day after Twitter said it would ban political advertising on its platform next month as it and peers including Facebook Inc also face pressure to stop carrying ads that spread false information that could steer elections.

The report noted a 105% increase in accounts locked or suspended for violating its rules during the six-month period.

There was a 48% rise in accounts reported for potential violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policies while 115,861 accounts were suspended because of their terrorist content, down 30% from the previous year.

The company also received 67% more legal requests to remove content from 49 countries, 80% of which came from Japan, Russia and Turkey.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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