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How Twitter keeps the lid on

Publish date: 22 January 2020
Issue Number: 1814
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
Category: Civil Liberties

A quick scan of Twitter CEO’s Jack Dorsey's feed shows just how often he's called upon to lay down the law for the service he helped create. While Dorsey is the company's public face, and the final word on all things product and strategy, the taxing job of creating and enforcing policy falls on Twitter's top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde. A report on the IoL site notes that her teams write and enforce the rules for hundreds of millions of Internet users. If people break the rules, the offending tweets can be removed, users can be suspended, or in extreme cases expelled. ‘He (Dorsey) rarely weighs in on an individual enforcement decisions,’ Gadde said. Like most corporate lawyers, Gadde generally operates in the background herself, though her influence has helped shape Twitter for most of the past decade. However, as Twitter's role in global politics has increased, so has Gadde's visibility. Perhaps no user presents a bigger quagmire for Gadde and her team than President Donald Trump, the platform's most famous user, whose tweets often push the boundaries of Twitter's rules. His habit of blasting messages to his 70.9m followers has taken on a new vigour thanks to a looming impeachment trial and re-election bid. Following the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, Trump threatened Iran with military force in a number of tweets, including the targeting of cultural sites. That prompted many observers, including some former Twitter employees, to ask why he hadn't been suspended.

Full report on the IoL site