Twitter Files: Who is Vijaya Gadde, the executive singled out in Hunter Biden thread?

Key Speakers At Wall Street Journal Tech Live Conference
Vijaya Gadde, chief legal officer of Twitter Inc., speaks during an event in Laguna Beach, California, on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (Martina Albertazzi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Twitter Files: Who is Vijaya Gadde, the executive singled out in Hunter Biden thread?

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As Elon Musk continues to release information as part of his so-called “Twitter Files” series, platform users are gaining access to never-before-seen information regarding the social media platform’s decision to suppress news stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop in October 2020.

One of the high-level company executives who played a major role in Twitter’s decision to suppress the story, Vijaya Gadde, reportedly has a history of censoring conservative voices on the platform. Throughout her tenure at Twitter, Gadde was behind the decisions to remove former President Donald Trump from the platform in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, as well as the removal of other right-wing figures, such as Milo Yiannopoulos and self-described journalist Chuck Johnson.

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Journalist Matt Taibbi released the so-called Twitter Files on Friday night, showing the social media platform had mulled requests from political groups seeking to keep the story about Biden’s laptop hidden. Taibbi shared screenshots of internal conversations between Twitter employees showing certain posts that had been flagged by members of the Biden administration or the Democratic National Committee.

The files showed that the social media company had taken “extraordinary steps” to keep the article suppressed, including by removing links and issuing warnings that its contents may be “unsafe,” according to Taibbi. The platform even went so far as to block users from sending the link to other users via direct message.

However, he found there was no evidence showing the government was involved in censoring the story, noting that decision was made at “the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey.” Those efforts, he said, were accomplished with Gadde “playing a key role.”

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Gadde worked at Twitter from 2011 to October 2022, when she was fired by Musk as he took control of the company. During her 11-year tenure, she worked as the company’s chief lawyer, as well as the head of legal, policy, and trust.

As part of her position, Gadde was responsible for handling claims of misinformation, harassment, and harmful speech. That role earned her the reputation of being Twitter’s “top censorship advocate” from critics on the Right, who accused Gadde of disproportionately silencing conservative voices on the platform.

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