Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth said the social media company was not safer under new owner Elon Musk, warning in his first interview since resigning this month that the company no longer had enough staff for safety work.
Not Safe !
Roth had tweeted after Musk’s takeover that by some measures, Twitter safety had improved under the billionaire’s ownership. Asked in an interview at the Knight Foundation conference on Tuesday whether he still felt that way, Roth said: “No.”
Roth was a Twitter veteran who helped steer the social media platform through several watershed decisions, including the move to permanently suspend its most famous user, former U.S. President Donald Trump, last year.
His departure further rattled advertisers, many of whom backed away from Twitter after Musk laid off half of the staff, including many involved with content moderation.
Before Musk assumed the helm at Twitter, about 2,200 people globally were focused on content moderation work, said Roth. “One of my limits was if Twitter starts being ruled by dictatorial edict rather than by policy … there’s no longer a need for me in my role, doing what I do,” he said.
The revamp of the Twitter Blue premium subscription, which would allow users to pay for a verified checkmark on their account, launched despite warnings and advice from the trust and safety team, Roth said.
Roth also said that Twitter erred in restricting the dissemination of a New York Post article that made claims about then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
Musk tweeted on Nov. 19 that Trump’s account would be reinstated after a slim majority voted in favor of the move in a surprise Twitter poll.
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