The Twitter executive who censored news reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop and referred to Trump officials as “actual Nazis” has quit the social media company.
Yoel Roth resigned as head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety division on Thursday, joining several other executives who quit in protest over the Twitter subscription service implemented by owner Elon Musk.
Roth was at the center of some of Twitter’s most controversial decisions. It was Roth who blocked user access to an October 2020 story in the New York Post about emails from Biden’s laptop related to his business dealings in Ukraine, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Roth told the Federal Election Commission his decision was based on briefings from government officials who said there were “rumors” that a foreign government had hacked Biden and planned to release derogatory information about him before the election.
Roth’s interactions with government officials have stoked longstanding concerns that social media companies collude with the federal government to censor unflattering content. Government officials also briefed Facebook before the social media giant blocked access to the Biden story. Two FBI officials who met with Facebook before that decision, Laura Dehmlow and Elvis Chan, donated to Democratic campaigns in 2020, the Free Beacon reported. It is unclear if they also met with Roth.
Roth worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board. According to an internal agency document, the Board planned to meet with Roth in April to ask Twitter to “become involved” in its efforts to monitor disinformation on social media websites. The Board faced intense blowback not only for its Orwellian-sounding name, but also because its chairwoman, Nina Jankowicz, had pushed the baseless theory that Russia was involved in the release of Biden’s laptop emails.
Roth was already the face of Twitter’s anti-conservative bias by the time he censored the laptop story. Conservative news outlets reported on Roth’s tweets from 2017 referring to Trump administration officials as “ACTUAL NAZIS.” He referred to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) as a “bag of farts.”