Social media contributes to radicalization, top Twitter exec says

Social media platforms can help radicalize people, according to one of Twitter's top policy executives.

“I think that there is content on Twitter and every [social media] platform that contributes to radicalization, no doubt,” said Vijaya Gadde, who is Twitter’s top legal counsel and oversees its policy arm, as well as its health and safety efforts.

Twitter – along with Facebook and Google's YouTube – has been heavily criticized by many for not taking the threat of extremism seriously, and not doing enough to crack down on Nazis or other members of hate organizations.

“I also think we have a lot of mechanisms and policies in place that we enforce very effectively that combat this,” she added.

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Twitter has come under fire for not doing enough to combat hate speech.

Twitter has come under fire for not doing enough to combat hate speech. (REUTERS)

Gadde also said Twitter has removed 1.6 million accounts for terrorism-related reasons and noted that 90 percent of those were detected by Twitter's own systems as opposed to user reports.

Gadde spoke alongside her colleague Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter's product chief, at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday.

Twitter, in particular, has been slammed for not acting fast enough to remove white supremacists and neo-Nazis from the platform. The San Francisco-based company is also working with outside academic researchers to study who white supremacists and white nationalists use the platform, according to Motherboard.

A study late last year found that female journalists and politicians were subjected to abuse on Twitter every 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, the company led by Jack Dorsey has been rethinking how to make conversations healthier, and considering a range of fundamental changes since last summer, but the progress on those initiatives has been slow.

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