Five years ago, popular protests across the Arab world seemed to show Twitter’s power as a democratising force, as young people in Egypt and beyond used social media to take on their rulers. Many of these with newfound freedom were living under repressive Sunni regimes.

Twitter has long championed free speech, even the unpalatable, but realises the concept has gone feral. The company says it’s closed 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 for threatening or promoting terrorism. The shutdowns primarily relate to support for Islamic State – the militant group seeking to create a Sunni caliphate within the region. Continue reading