Twitter Transparency Report Shows Dark Side Of Social Media

Twitter’s transparency report shows a decrease in account suspensions across many categories but an increase in child safety violations.

Twitter’s transparency report revealed a decrease in the number of accounts that were suspended or content removed because of Twitter’s rules violations.

This report also contains information about increasing government requests for information and how frequently Twitter responds to those requests. Notable is the rise in legal demands from governments on journalists.

While Twitter rules violations decreased, most of them decreased during this reporting period. However, other crimes, like child exploitation, were rising.

This report covers from the period July 2021 – December 2021.

Accounts Actioned

Twitter’s transparency report revealed a decline in account actions.

Actioned refers to when an account has its content removed or suspended because of violating Twitter’s rules.

The total amount of accounts that were actioned decreased by 12%

Comparatively, the amount of removed content decreased by 14% compared to the previous reporting period.

The number of accounts that have been dangled and has increased by 2%

Reasons Accounts Are Suspended

Child sexual exploitation is the most common reason for account suspension. Nearly 600,000 accounts have been suspended for this type of activity.

Impersonation is the second most common reason for account suspensions. It only accounts for 169.396 account suspensions. Illegal or certain regulated products or services accounts are 119.508, and 118.356 accounts were suspended.

These are three last reasons to suspend:

  • Hateful behavior – 104,565 accounts are suspended
  • Harassment/Abuse – 82 971 accounts were suspended
  • Violence – 41 386 accounts are suspended

Statistics for actioned accounts follow similar patterns. Child exploitation is the main reason for actioned Twitter accounts (599,523).


Almost all safety categories experienced decreased accounts.

Only child sexual exploitation, suicide promotion, or self-harm were the only categories that saw increases in the number of accounts.

Safety Categories with Account Decreases

  • Violence – 31% drop
  • Terrorism/violent Extremism – 25% reduction
  • Abuse/harassment – 10% reduction
  • Hateful behavior – 19% reduction
  • Sensitive media is down 30%

Press Freedom Under Pressure

Twitter highlights a disturbing trend: governments worldwide are trying to restrict press freedoms.

Legal demands are a significant factor in the pressure on press freedoms. Both trends are at all-time highs.

According to the transparency report:

  • We recorded legal demands on account (45,572 requests for 198,931 reports).
  • A 103% increase in legal demands by governments for verified journalists and news organizations since the last reporting period
  • The United States was responsible for 20% of all global requests. Tweet impressions not in compliance with Twitter rules accounted for less than 0.1% of all tweets.
  • 29 US civil requests for account data revealed we rejected anonymous speakers’ identities.

Other places the report noted:

“For the most recent reporting period, 349 accounts verified journalists and news outlets from all over the world were subjected to 326 legal demands. This is a 103% rise since the previous reporting period. Since we began tracking this critical metric, it is also a record high for us. This is especially important in a time of global censorship.

Certain politicians are threatening journalists who publish negative news articles.

Because the United States guarantees freedom to the press under the First Amendment, it is odd in the transparency report that it has the highest number of information requests from any government.

Twitter is proactive on accounts Actioned.

It is fantastic to see how few Twitter users report violations of their policies.

Twitter identified 93% of accounts that were taken into account for terrorism/violent Extremism through its systems.

Twitter’s internal tools detected violations of Child sexual abuse rules in 91% of all accounts.

According to the Twitter transparency report,

“We suspended 596 997 unique accounts during the reporting period – an increase of 32% since our last report. These accounts were 91% of those that were broken. They were identified using internal proprietary tools and industry hash-sharing initiatives.

These tools and initiatives help us to identify potentially illegal content and support further review and removal if necessary.

A new measure called impressions is another indicator of Twitter’s speed in responding to violations of its rules.

 Impressions measure how many times users have viewed a tweet before Twitter takes action.

According Twitter:

From the period “July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021, Twitter required that users remove 4M tweets violating Twitter Rules.

71% of the removed Tweets received less than 100 impressions before being deleted, while 21% received between 100 and 1000 impressions.

Only 8% had more than 1000 impressions. These violative tweets accounted, in total, for 0.1% of all images made for all Tweets over that period.

These notable statistics show that Twitter responds quickly to violations of its rules.

Twitter’s proactive response is better than Facebook’s moderation. A violator’s post can be seen more than a million times before Facebook takes action.