White nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathizers located mostly in the United States use Twitter with “relative impunity” and often have far more followers than militant Islamists, a study being released on Thursday found. Eighteen prominent white nationalist accounts examined in the study, including the American Nazi Party, have seen a sharp increase in Twitter followers to a total of more than 25,000, up from about 3,500 in 2012, according to the study by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism that was seen by Reuters. The study’s findings contrast with declining influence on Twitter Inc’s service for Islamic State, also known as ISIS, amid crackdowns that have targeted the militant group, according to earlier research by report author J.M. Berger and the findings of other counter-extremism experts and government officials. “White nationalists and Nazis outperformed ISIS in average friend and follower counts by a substantial margin,” the report said. “Nazis had a median follower count almost eight times greater than ISIS supporters, and a mean count more than 22 times greater.” While Twitter has waged an aggressive campaign to suspend Islamic State users – the company said in an August blog post it had shut down 360,000 accounts for threatening or promoting what it defined as terrorist acts since the middle of 2015 – Berger said in his report that “white nationalists and Nazis operate with relative impunity.” Reuters was unable to independently verify the findings. Asked about the study, a Twitter spokesman referred to the company’s terms of service, which prohibit promoting terrorism, threatening abuse and “hateful conduct” such as attacking or threatening a person on the basis of race or ethnicity. The company relies heavily on users to report terms of service violations. The report comes as Twitter faces scrutiny of its content removal policies. It has long been under pressure to crack down on Islamist fighters and their supporters, and the problem of harassment gained renewed attention in July after actress Leslie Jones briefly quit Twitter in the face of abusive comments.
siehe auch:White Supremacists Are Out of Control on Twitter and No One Will Stop Them. In August, Twitter proudly announced that it had suspended 235,000 accounts connected to the “promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform.” The company’s blog post focused on accounts of the Islamic extremist variety—it mentions ISIS and partnerships with the organizations Parle-moi d’Islam, Imams Online, and True Islam, and includes an Arabic translation. But according to a new report from George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, while Twitter might be making strides in its crackdown of Islamic extremist supporters, it’s lagging behind with another faction: white nationalists and Nazis. “White nationalists and Nazis operate with relative impunity,” wrote study author J.M. Berger. Since 2012, the follower count for major white nationalist movement accounts has increased by roughly 22,000—a spike of about 600 percent. The American Nazi Party’s Twitter account saw its follower count rise by more than 400 percent in the same time period.