Recently, the former head of trust & safety at Twitter admitted that the company’s 2020 decision to censor Hunter Biden’s laptop story was a “mistake.”
Ex-Twitter safety chief Yoel Rot stated that, despite doubts about the authenticity and content of the laptop story it did not reach the point where he wanted the content removed. This was later censored. Although initial reports suggested Roth had blocked access to the October 2020 story for users, the ex-head of the Twitter division said that he was not responsible for the decision.
Roth stated that “We didn’t know what we believed, we didn’t know what truth was, there was smoke — and finally for me, it didn’t reach a point where I could be comfortable removing this content on Twitter.” It set off all my finely tuned APT28 hacks and leak campaign alarm bells.
Roth repeated that, despite Big Tech companies’ high alert status and his personal sense of responsibility to preserve the “integrity in conversations” from foreign governments trying to interfere with elections, it never reached the point where he felt the story should be censored.
“But, it was a mistake?” Swisher was curious.
He replied, “In my opinion yes,”
Roth was scheduled to meet with the now defunct Disinformation Governance Board of the Department of Homeland Security, where the government was expected ask Twitter to get more involved in monitoring misinformation.
Roth and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg both revealed that they were approached prior to the 2020 elections by the FBI, warning them about misinformation and foreign propaganda.
Twitter and Facebook coordinated in unprecedented ways to block or limit the sharing of the New York Post bombshell report, which was published just weeks before the 2020 election. Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, has admitted that the social media platform was wrong in intervening in the Hunter Biden story.
Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, said last week that he may release more details about how the social media giant censored Biden’s laptop story. The New York Post was initially blocked from accessing its Twitter account for several weeks due to the story. It was eventually restored.
Multiple media outlets initially labelled the laptop Russian disinformation, in addition to the Big Tech censorship. A letter signed by dozens of ex-intelligence officials and intelligence leaders claiming that the story was part a Russian disinformation campaign also appeared.
Many news outlets independently verified that the laptop was authentic.