Twitter suspended more than 10,000 accounts linked to the notorious Middle Eastern rebel group The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the media have reported on Friday.
The details have not been made public, but Metro.co.uk said an anonymous Twitter representative confirmed the suspensions.
The accounts, banned on 2 April, were “tweeting violent tweets,” and if these reports are true, this is the single biggest ISIS Twitter purge so far.
Twitter has been under a lot of criticism, with many accusing the micro blogging site for not doing enough to stop ISIS from spreading hate, propaganda and recruiting new people.
It is believed that more than 90,000 ISIS Twitter profiles currently exist.
The Twitter representative said hacktivist groups such as Anonymous played an important part in this battle, as they were the ones exposing these profiles.
However, some anti-Islamic State activists said that the suspensions would make it harder to monitor the group online.
Posting on Twitter, activist xrsone said: “The only change I have seen is previously suspended accounts now being deleted.This has zero effect on the number of active accounts and accomplishes nothing. In fact the number of active accounts has grown," The New York Times reports.
Another said that many IS sympathisers will simply create a new account within 24 hours, adding a number or letter to their previous handle.
The Twitter representative said the critics were wrong, as they don’t have inside information:
“Third-party analysts typically undercount suspensions, since they don’t have access to internal data and they can’t track 288 million users tweeting 500 million times a day,” they said.
ISIS is a rebel group operating in the Middle East, currently occupying territories in Syria and Iraq. It is known for killing journalists and setting prisoners of war on fire, as well as destroying thousands of years old artefacts.
It is one of the most Internet-active groups online, posting high-quality videos and using social media to spread hate and propaganda and to recruit new members.