Yoel Roth was chastised earlier this year for alluding to Trump administration as “actual Nazis” in a tweet from 2017. With such a background, to no one’s surprise, Twitter’s new crisis manager Yoel Roth is also the one who blocked Hunter Biden story.
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Twitter’s choice to combat disinformation during times of crisis has a record of spreading lies.
On Thursday, Twitter’s “crisis misinformation policy” was introduced by Yoel Roth, the head of the site’s safety and integrity division. In a blog post, Roth described how, in times of armed conflict, natural catastrophes, or public health concerns, Twitter will apply caution tags on tweets believed to contain misinformation, preventing them from becoming “amplified or recommended”
Given his history of spreading false information, Roth is a dubious choice to debut the policy. Roth was in charge of Twitter’s decision to prevent the public dissemination of an October 2020 New York Post story on emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. The decision was based on “rumors” shared by the US government’s intelligence community that the Russian government may reveal documents hacked from Hunter Biden, Roth told the Federal Election Commission.
There is no indication that Biden’s laptop was hacked or that Russia was involved in the publication of emails from it. Blocking the story was “a total mistake.” according to former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
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Roth was chastised earlier this year for alluding to Trump administration as “actual Nazis” in a tweet from 2017. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) was sometimes referred to as a “bag of farts.”
Twitter is implementing the policy during a period of transition for the firm. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a potential buyer, has declared his aversion to censorship on the site. He also said that Twitter had a “a strong left wing bias.”
The new Twitter policy emerges as the federal government’s efforts to counteract misinformation are failing. Following reports that its executive director, Nina Jankowicz, advocated conspiracy theories concerning both the Biden laptop and suspicions of connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Department of Homeland Security canceled its planned Disinformation Governance Board this week. Jankowicz announced her resignation on Wednesday.