This is terrible.
CNN Twitter’s Former Head of Trust and Security reports Yoel Roth was forced to flee his home due to an increase in violent threats against him, following a campaign of attacks led by new Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who used his platform to imply darkness. Rumors against Roth.
Among Musk’s dubious allegations is that Roth used Twitter’s decision to ban former president Donald Trump in 2020 to advance a left-wing agenda and, with an even darker turn, he is a kind of pedophile advocate. It’s a gruesome turn that signals Musk’s relationship with the far-right and even QAnon conspiracy tropes has shifted from casual flirting to seemingly effective means of weaponization.
As Twitter’s Head of Trust and Security, Roth had a hand in a number of sensitive issues, including the suspension of Trump. However, Trump was not randomly removed from the platform. His ban was specific to the US Capitol riot on January 6, a violent event that flared up via Twitter, killing four people and injuring dozens.
But Musk’s decidedly partisan “Twitter Files” would say otherwise, and the CEO used both Files’ Trump-centric chapter and Roth’s 2016 thesis at the University of Pennsylvania – an analysis of teens’ interaction with the gay dating and hookup app Grindr – the LGBTQ+ community and to play on far-right sentiments about so-called “grooming,” a narrative tool that has proven extremely effective in motivating the far-right base.
“Apparently Yoel argues in his doctoral thesis that children should be able to access adult Internet services.” Musk tweeted On Saturday, with a screenshot of just one paragraph of Roth’s 300-page thesis.
The CEO’s tweet came in response to Eliza Bleu, who tagged “Chief Twit” in an article Roth shared—but didn’t write—in 2010 on teacher-student sex politics. Neither this article nor Roth’s research support this. abuse and exploitation of children, or suggest that Roth himself is pedophile in any way. (Never mind that Musk’s takeover resulted in the destruction of a large portion of the Twitter teams tasked with fighting child sexual abuse on the platform.)
Even so, responses to both tweets suggest that the former Twitter employee, who is also openly gay, is a “sitter.” (In September, the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Extremism noted that “pervasive hate speech” that seeks to falsely link the LBGTQ+ community to natural grooming has led to “an increase in harassment, threats and violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community.”
It’s worth noting that Musk openly supported long-time Twitter employee Roth in the early days of its acquisition. Some netizens have expressed concern about Roth’s very clear distaste for Trump, in conjunction with some of his critical tweets in 2016 and 2017. But at this point, the billionaire came to the defense of the Twitter employee at the time, saying this “We’ve all tweeted some questionable tweets, more me than most, but I want to make it clear that I support Yoel.”
“I think he has a high degree of integrity and we all have the right to have our political beliefs,” Musk continued in the October thread.
But since Roth voluntarily stepped down, the CEO’s attitude has changed.
It’s unclear whether Musk was just making noise to increase Twitter’s user base, or whether he truly believed his outrageous accusations against Roth. Either way, Musk’s attacks are just another example of his increasingly capricious managerial decisions—not to mention a cautionary tale for any employee who’s currently getting his eye on it.
READ MORE: Former top Twitter official forced to leave home due to threats during ‘Twitter Files’ announcement [CNN]