Proud moment! This IIT Bombay alumnus is new CTO of Twitter – Things to know about him

Twitter on Friday appointed an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay alumnus Parag Agarwal as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay alumnus Parag Agarwal as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). (Twitter)

Twitter on Friday appointed an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay alumnus Parag Agarwal as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Agarwal will be succeeding the Adam Messinger, who left the position in 2016, according to a report by CNBC. The appointment of Agrawal, who completed his PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 2011, was announced internally in October 2017.

Agrawal joined Twitter in October 2011 as an ads engineer, and he most recently held the title of Distinguished Software Engineer. Before joining Twitter, he did research internships at AT&T, Microsoft and Yahoo. His contributions at Twitter include leading efforts to increase the relevance of tweets in Twitter users’ timelines using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI also helps Twitter in preventing abuse on the social network. “In his capacity as CTO, he’s focused on scaling a cohesive machine learning and AI approach to our consumer and revenue product and infrastructure teams,” a Twitter spokesman told CNBC.

Twitter also announced this week that it intends to hire a Director of Social Science in an attempt to “increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation” on its platform.

This isn’t the first time Twitter went some time without a CTO. Its first CTO, Greg Pass, arrived in 2008 after Twitter bought Summize and left in May 2011. Messinger, a former Oracle executive, joined Twitter in November 2011 but only took over as CTO in March 2013.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday said that the microblogging platform intends to find a way to allow all users to verify. “And to do it in a way that is scalable, [so] we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part,” he said during a Periscope live stream.

Twitter introduced its blue checkmark to signify verified users in 2009. Initially, the distinction was bestowed mainly on celebrities, athletes and public figures to curb impersonators. Then the badge was rolled out to journalists and other users. To obtain a verified checkmark, users have to apply with a reason for why they need one.

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