Former Twitter Executive Who Censored Hunter Biden Laptop Story Admits Mistake

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It was a mistake for Twitter to censor the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the weeks leading to the 2020 presidential election, the company’s former Trust and Safety Department head said on Tuesday.

Yoel Roth, who resigned earlier this month in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover as Twitter’s new chief executive, has been blamed for censoring a New York Post article about emails retrieved from a laptop once owned by Hunter Biden.

Those emails, according to the Post, showed a direct link then-presidential candidate Joe Biden had with his son’s dubious business dealings in China and Ukraine. Shortly after the story’s publication, Twitter not only prohibited users from sharing it, but also suspended the Post’s account for two weeks.

Users who tried to share the link to the article were greeted with a message saying, “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.” Those who tried to open the link in existing posts were also warned that it was “potentially spammy and unsafe.”

In his first public appearance since parting with Twitter, Roth tried to shift the blame, claiming that the story was too difficult for Twitter to verify its authenticity.

“We didn’t know what to believe. We didn’t know what was true. There was smoke,” Roth said during an interview at the Knight Foundation conference. “And ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter.”

“It set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 ‘hack and leak campaign’ alarm bells,” he said, referring to a notorious team of cyberspies affiliated with Russian military intelligence. “Everything about it looked like a hack and leak.”

When asked whether if it was a mistake to censor the story, Roth replied, “In my opinion, yes.”

By Bill Pan

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