Elon Musk embraces Twitter official who censored Hunter Biden laptop stories

SInce taking over the company, Elon Musk has repeatedly praised Twitter’s senior director of safety and integrity despite his involvement in suppressing stories on Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Musk had tweeted in April that “suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.”


But he has defended Yoel Roth’s leadership position over the past few days, even though he was deeply involved in Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post’s stories.

When Yoel tweeted Monday that Twitter was “enforcing our rules at scale,” Musk replied: “I recommend following @yoyoel [Roth’s Twitter account] for the most accurate understanding of what’s happening with trust & safety at Twitter.”

Musk also responses to criticisms of Roth’s history of anti-Trump tweets, saying: “We’ve all made some questionable tweets, me more than most, but I want to be clear that I support Yoel. My sense is that he has high integrity, and we are all entitled to our political beliefs.”

On Tuesday, Roth tweeted: “We’re staying vigilant against attempts to manipulate conversations about the 2022 US midterms.”

Musk replied he had “talked to civil society leaders … about how Twitter will continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.” He then said that “Twitter’s content moderation council will include representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence.”

He responses to those calling for Roth’s firing on Wednesday by tweeting that he “absolutely agreed that the Twitter safety board should have people from all viewpoints.”

He also tweeted“Being attacked by both right & left simultaneously is a good sign.”

Musk had tweeted on Sunday that “Wachtell [Twitter’s law firm] & Twitter board deliberately hid this evidence from the court.” He included a screenshot of messages Roth apparently sent on May 17.

“But also LOL if Amir continues to BS me my escalation route is ‘Amir’s OKRs [objectives and key results] are entirely based on fraudulent metrics and he doesn’t care and may actively be trying to hide the ball!’ … Literally doing what Elon is accusing us of doing,” the messages read.

Roth’s LinkedIn indicates he has been Twitter’s senior director of safety and integrity since May, that he worked as Twitter’s head of site integrity from July 2018 until May, and that he became the director of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Department in August 2020 until the promotion this spring.

In October 2020, shortly before the presidential election, the New York Post dropped the story about Biden’s laptop.

When the publication attempted to post the articles on its Twitter account, the social media company said doing so violated its rule against sharing “hacked” materials. Facebook also limited the dissemination.

An October 2020 complaint from the Republican National Committee accused Twitter of making “illegal, corporate in-kind contributions” as a result of the throttling of the story. Almost a year later, the Federal Election Commission unanimously rejected the complaints.

In a December 2020 declaration to the FEC, Roth said he was head of site integrity at Twitter, which is part of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Department.

“Since 2018, I have had regular meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and industry peers regarding election security,” Roth said. “During these weekly meetings, the federal law enforcement agencies communicated that they expected ‘hack-and-leak operations’ by state actors might occur in the period shortly before the 2020 presidential election, likely in October.”

Roth added: “I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter. These expectations of hack-and-leak operations were discussed throughout 2020. I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”

He said his team “determined that the information in the articles could have been obtained through hacking” and that his team “escalated” the articles for further review. Roth said Twitter’s Trust and Safety leadership then determined the articles “violated the Distribution of Hacked Materials Policy,” and the leadership group “instructed the Site Integrity Team to execute enforcement.”

Roth said his team then blocked Twitter users from sharing links to the New York Post articles. He said he did not discuss it with any Biden campaign representatives prior to censoring the articles.

Roth has a number of anti-Trump tweets from before he took his position with Twitter. In November 2016, he said, “We fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.” In January 2017, he said that there were “ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.”

The day after Twitter blocked the New York Post’s mid-October stories on Hunter Biden, Dorsey tweeted: “Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix.”

Dorsey testified before the Senate in November 2020 after Joe Biden defeated Trump.

“We made a quick interpretation, using no other evidence, that the materials in the article were obtained through hacking, and according to our policy, we blocked them from being spread,” Dorsey said. wrong.”