The Obama administration still would like Twitter to find a better way to deal with the constant creation of new accounts by the same people.
"They [Twitter] are still not doing enough," a U.S. official familiar with discussions with Twitter executives said in an interview. "They don't put a lot of resources into this .... What does it matter if they take down an account and instead of '@ISILTerrorist001,' it is '@ISILTerrorist002' two minutes later?"
In multiple meetings with Twitter executives over the past year, Department of Justice and Homeland Security officials have asked the company to take more aggressive steps, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
"They don't want to be seen as the command-and-control mechanism that allows Islamic State to do what it does," the official said.
But it wasn't only U.S. government pressure that motivated Twitter to announce how many accounts have been taken down in the past several months, the official said.
"They realize it is not a good thing to be known as the social media platform that ISIL uses most to spread their hate and horrible things," the official said, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State terrorist organization. Officials were particularly incensed last year when Islamic State used Twitter to post the names and addresses of U.S. military personnel.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Twitter's efforts to remove terrorist content "a very positive development."
"Addressing the use of social media by terrorists will require a sustained and cooperative effort between the technology sector, the intelligence community and law enforcement," Schiff said in a statement Friday.
Bennett reported from Washington and Dave from Los Angeles.
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