On 8 January, 2021, Twitter did something that was once thought unimaginable. It shut down erstwhile US President, Donald Trump’s Twitter account as part of a wave of crackdowns on the public digital spaces where the President’s most radicalised supporters congregate. It came in response to the violence and bloodshed unleashed by Trump supporters on the US Capitol.
The woman who spearheaded the decision to permanently suspend US President Donald Trump’s Twitter accounts was Vijaya Gadde, a 45-year-old immigrant from India and the tech giant’s top lawyer.
Gadde, the company’s head of Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety issues, took to Twitter and said, “The account of @realDonaldTrump has been permanently suspended from Twitter due to the risk of further violence. We’ve also published our policy enforcement analysis – you can read more about our decision here.”
Born in India, Gadde moved to the US as a child and grew up in Texas. She completed her high school in New Jersey and went on to graduate from Cornell University and New York University Law School. Gadde spent almost a decade at a Bay Area-based law firm working with tech startups before she joined the social media company in 2011. She has helped shape Twitter’s policies since the past decade. Moreover, with Twitter’s increasing role in global politics, Gadde’s visibility has increased.
Apart from being Twitter’s top lawyer, Gadde is also a co-founder of Angels, an investment collective that backs start-ups and helps ensure that women receive equal compensation at successful companies.
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