Yoel Roth, who recently quit his job as Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety in the wake of Hurricane Elon sweeping through, has done what very few people in Big Tech have the guts to do: admitting to their censorious actions when it comes to the 2020 presidential election.
In an interview with the always-odious tech “journalist” Kara Swisher, Roth finally got around to confessing that it was wrong for the platform to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story back in October of 2020. In the words of the New York Post, who broke the laptop story and were promptly rewarded with a weeks-long Twitter suspension: Took him long enough.
Twitter’s ex-safety chief finally admits mistake of censoring Post’s Hunter Biden scoop https://t.co/1yyoH3AH7T
— New York Post (@nypost) November 30, 2022
In addressing the laptop story, Roth said, “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.” But he and his colleagues allowed it to be censored, nonetheless.
Roth wasn’t quite brave enough to take responsibility for quashing the story — and didn’t name and shame those who were — but when questioned if it was a mistake, he responded, “In my opinion, yes.”
Could it be that Roth confronted the laptop issue in order to deflect the scrutiny that is certain to come when his former boss, Elon Musk, tells all? Musk has indicated he has proof that Twitter colluded to suppress information in order to affect the outcome of the 2020 election … and he’s going to spill the beans. It likely won’t be a good look for the Yoel Roths of the world.
Bonchie covered Musk’s reaction to finding proof positive that Twitter was engaging in election engineering, writing of the consequences:
In the end, Donald Trump lost by just tens of thousands of votes in three states. What would have happened if there was actually a week-long onslaught in the media over the laptop instead of the story being suppressed? We’ll never know for sure, but for my money, that entire ordeal was the clearest evidence of the cycle that the election was “rigged.” If you can control the flow of information, you can control enough votes on the margins to reach a preferred outcome.
In his most recent column, Jonathan Turley addressed the issue of the left’s coordinated campaign against Twitter, which “now involves the full allied forces of the anti-free speech movement: the government, corporations, Democratic politicians, the media, and, of course, celebrities.” Turley’s go their number:
The real question is why the political, business, and media establishment is ramping up this campaign. The answer is power. With President Biden and Democratic senators supporting investigations, the message could not be clearer: proceed at your own peril. That message was brought home by Politico’s Sam Stein when he warned Musk that it is “[a]lways risky to attack members of congress. Especially risky with Dems assured of Senate power.”
For years, Democratic politicians and their allies have exercised an enormous degree of control over political discourse through allies in the media and social media.
Luckily for those who value free speech and fair elections, Elon Musk also recognizes the importance of this moment in time:
This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 29, 2022
Elon Musk is a formidable foe and perhaps Yoel Roth recognizes this. In the end, did Roth give a hearty rebuke of Twitter’s election meddling? Not hardly, but it’s likely to be the closest thing social media platforms and their tech MAGA (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon) brethren come to admitting they were propping up Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.