Twitter's former trust & safety chief, who once said the platform was safer under Elon Musk, now says he believes the opposite




Former Twitter exec Yoel Roth, Twitter CEO Elon Musk
Former Twitter exec Yoel Roth, Twitter CEO Elon Musk  
  • Twitter is not safer under Elon Musk, according to Twitter's former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth.

  • The statement is a reversal for Roth, who wrote the opposite in a New York Times op-ed earlier this month.

  • Twitter said it would stop enforcing its COVID-19 misleading info policy, which Roth called "damaging."

Twitter is not safer under Elon Musk, according to Twitter's former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth.

Roth, who left his role at Twitter exactly two weeks after Musk's official takeover on October 27, said he does not believe there are enough employees left at the company who understand trust and safety to moderate the platform effectively.

"You can't rest on your laurels when it comes to that," Roth said at the Knight Foundation "Informed" conference on Tuesday. "You can't automate it. There is no 'set it and forget it' when it comes to trust and safety."

Twitter laid off 50% of its staff earlier this month, and Musk has since laid off even more workers.

The position is a reversal for Roth, who wrote in a New York Times op-ed published November 18 that the platform was safer under Musk than it was before "by some measures."

Roth said his team's effective handling of a trolling campaign earlier this month was partially the reason for his optimism 11 days ago regarding the platform's safety.

But he said Twitter would need to continue to adapt to malicious activity, and even stay "a couple of steps ahead" of it to keep its content safe from violence, hate speech, and illegal activity.

"Even if you wanted a policy that is just, 'f--- it,' you cant. You simply cannot do that if you're operating what you want to be a commercially viable consumer service," he said.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced it would stop enforcing its COVID-19 misleading information policy that it put in place in March 2020.

Roth called the policy change "really bad and damaging."

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