Quoted: the head of Twitter’s online cleaning crew

“My job is predicting and designing for catastrophes.”

Del Harvey, head of the Trust & Safety department at Twitter. Catastrophe? On Twitter? Harvey tells Forbes that because of the sheer number of tweets a day (half a billion), the “one-in-a-million chance of something going horribly wrong happens 500 times a day.” Twitter, of course, deals with everything from spam to satire to stalking to government censorship. Hired by the San Francisco company in 2008 to deal with all the spam, Harvey “became an encyclopedia of the weird things people were doing,” said Jason Goldman, a former Twitter executive. Now, Harvey’s LinkedIn profile describes her job by borrowing words of wisdom from rapper Vanilla Ice: “If there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it / check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.” Harvey and other social-media “deciders” don’t necessarily have to have law degrees. She says her department “protects user rights” and works closely with the company’s legal department.


Photo from AFP/Getty Images archives


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