Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk confirmed the suspicions of many conservative voices Wednesday after revealing that the social media platform “has interfered in elections.”
Musk made the announcement in response to a Reuters report on Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, who said the company was “not safer” after the billionaire business magnate acquired the company last month.
In what was billed as his first interview since resigning in November, Roth warned that the company no longer had enough staff to adequately perform safety work.
In response to one commenter who said Twitter “has lost users’ trust” and that previous “trust and safety” personnel were a “disgrace,” Musk agreed and pledged to make Twitter “more effective, transparent and even-handed.”
“The obvious reality, as long-time users know, is that Twitter has failed in trust & safety for a very long time and has interfered in elections,” he wrote.
Earlier this week, Musk signaled that he would follow through with his pledge to make Twitter more transparent by releasing what he dubbed the “Twitter Files on free speech suppression,” adding, “The public deserves to know what really happened…”
Roth made the comments that ultimately spurred Musk’s response while speaking at a conference hosted by the Knight Foundation when he explained why he tendered his resignation after initially supporting, at least publicly, Musk’s reform efforts.
“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 was quoted as saying.
Roth also admitted that Twitter censored the Hunter Biden laptop story at the height of the 2020 presidential campaign because the company was unable to confirm its veracity, according to Reuters.
In an interview with journalist Kara Swisher, the former Twitter division lead was quoted as saying: “We didn’t know what to believe, we didn’t know what was true, there was smoke — and ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter.”
When asked whether the move was ultimately a mistake, Roth replied, “In my opinion, yes.”
In October 2020, just days before voters were to head to the polls, Twitter blocked users’ ability to share links to the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s now-notorious laptop.
The New York Times confirmed the laptop’s existence in March of this year in a report on the ongoing federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax filings.
Twitter’s censorship of the Post’s story also included blocking anyone with a large Twitter following from sharing it, CP reported in October 2020. The platform went so far as locking the personal account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany after she shared the article.
Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who shared the article were also blocked on the platform.
In response, the Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who later confirmed the censorship and said it was “wrong” to block the story from being shared.
Since Musk’s takeover, a number of several high-profile accounts were reinstated by Twitter, including former President Donald Trump, The Babylon Bee, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Kathy Griffin and Project Veritas, among others.
CP, which had its account suspended in March after publishing a headline that described trans-identified Health and Human Services Secretary Rachel Levine as a man, has not yet been reinstated.