Elon Musk’s Twitter is not any safer, according to the former head of trust and safety
- Tech News
- November 30, 2022
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Yoel Roth, who left last month, claims that under Musk’s leadership, Twitter is not secure due to a lack of workers.
Twitter’s former head of trust and security Yoel Roth said Tuesday the social media company had never been more secure under new owner Elon Musk, warning in his first interview since his resignation this month that the company no longer had the personnel to carry out security tasks.
Roth tweeted after the Musk acquisition that, with a few measures, Twitter’s security had improved under the billionaire’s ownership.
Asked in an interview at a Knight Foundation conference on Tuesday if he still felt that way, Roth said: “No.”
A Twitter veteran, Roth has helped guide the social media platform through several watershed decisions, including the decision to permanently shut down its most famous user, former US President Donald Trump, last year.
His departure further alarmed advertisers, many of whom pulled Twitter after Musk fired half the staff, including several who were involved in content moderation.
Before Musk took over Twitter, Roth said, there were about 2,200 people around the world focused on the content moderation business. He said that he did not know the number after the acquisition because the company directory was off.
Twitter under Musk began to move away from his adherence to publicly available and written policies toward content decisions Musk had unilaterally made, which Roth cited as the reason for his resignation.
“One of my limitations was that Twitter began to be governed by dictatorial decree and not by politics… They no longer needed me in my role, doing what I do,” he said.
Roth said the renewal of Twitter Blue’s premium subscription, which will allow users to pay for a verified checkmark on their account, was launched despite warnings and advice from the Trust & Safety team.
The launch soon ran into spammers posing as major public companies like Eli Lilly, Nestle, and Lockheed Martin.
Roth also said Tuesday that Twitter erred in restricting the publication of a New York Post article that made allegations about the son of then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
But he defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend Trump at risk of inciting violence following the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“We’ve seen the clearest possible example of what it looks like to move things off the Internet,” Roth said. “We saw dead people at the Capitol.”
Musk tweeted on November 19 that Trump’s account would be reinstated after a narrow majority voted in favour of the measure in an instant Twitter poll.
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