Twitter Not Safer Under Elon Musk, Says Former Head of Trust and Safety

Twitter’s former head of trust and security, Yoel Roth, said Tuesday that the social media company was not safe under new owner Elon Musk, warning in his first interview since resigning this month that the company no longer had enough security work. There are not enough staff.

Roth tweeted after Musk’s acquisition that Twitter security has been improved by some measures under the billionaire’s ownership.

Asked in an interview at the Knight Foundation conference on Tuesday whether he still feels that way, Roth said: “No.”

Roth was a Twitter veteran who helped steer the social media platform through several watershed decisions last year, including a move to permanently suspend its most famous user, former US President Donald Trump.

His departure sparked an uproar from advertisers, many of whom were furloughed from Twitter after Musk laid off half the staff, including many involved with content moderation.

Roth said that before Musk took the helm at Twitter, about 2,200 people globally were focused on content moderation work. He said he did not know the post-acquisition numbers as the corporate directory had been discontinued.

Twitter under Musk began to deviate from its adherence to written and publicly available policies towards content decisions made unilaterally by Musk, which Roth cited as the reason for his resignation.

“One of my limitations was that if Twitter starts to be governed by dictatorial orders rather than policy … there’s no need for me in my role, which I do,” he said.

Roth said the revamp of the Twitter Blue premium subscription, which will allow users to pay for a verified checkmark on their account, was launched despite warnings and advice from the Trust and Safety team.

The launch was quickly besieged by spammers impersonating major public companies such as Eli Lilly, Nestle and Lockheed Martin.

Roth also said Tuesday that Twitter made a mistake in restricting the dissemination of a New York Post article that claimed to be the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shortly before the 2020 presidential election. was.

But he defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump for the risk of further inciting violence following the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Roth said, “We saw the clearest possible example of what it looks like to shut things down online. We saw people dead in the Capitol.”

Musk tweeted on November 19 that Trump’s account would be reinstated after voting in favor of the move in a surprise Twitter poll.

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