Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now
Fast Forward

Twitter: ‘We Didn’t Invest Enough’ To Fight White Nationalism Problem

For months now, Twitter has been telling users about plans to make the social media platform a “healthier” service, decreasing the amount of hate and abuse. But the vague policies bruited about by its founder Jack Dorsey haven’t been successful, Huffpost reported, as there is still a palpable white nationalist issue.

In an “extremely conservative” estimate, extremism expert J.M. Berger suggested there were at least 100,000 alt-right users on Twitter. One glaring example is massacre at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 were killed — the gunman was a Twitter user who spewed Islamophobia and posted about terrorist attacks.

“We just didn’t invest enough,” Twitter co-founder Ev Williams told CNN Business last month. “We underestimated the level of bad actors that we would see and the level of impact they would have.”

And there are hundreds of readily accessible figures, such as alt-right trolls and white nationalist podcasters. As viewers of Dorsey’s TedTalk wanted to know: “How hard is it to get rid of Nazis from Twitter?”

The way white supremacists use social media to spread propaganda and hateful messages is the same as those used by ISIS and foreign terrorist organizations, Huffpost reported. White supremacists were responsible for 78% of of the extremist killings in 2018, with Twitter becoming an easy radicalization tool.

And despite the supposed policy changes, there are still practically no repercussions for the white supremacists spreading hate speech.

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.