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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 fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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