Twitter's former trust and safety head said it's unfair to paint Elon Musk as the 'villain' of Twitter's story




Former Twitter exec Yoel Roth, Twitter CEO Elon Musk
Former Twitter exec Yoel Roth, Twitter CEO Elon Musk  
  • Twitter's former trust & safety chief said Musk wasn't a "villain" in his experience at Twitter.

  • Musk could've made bad decisions in the early days of his tenure but declined, said the former exec.

  • "I don't know that he has a lot of people around him who push back on him," he said of Musk.

Twitter's former head of trust & safety, Yoel Roth, said that despite the controversy surrounding Elon Musk's takeover of the platform, it isn't accurate to depict him as a villain.

"I think one of the things that is tricky about Elon, in particular, is that people really want him to be the villain of the story, and they want him to be unequivocally wrong and bad, and everything he says is duplicitous," Roth said Tuesday at the Knight Foundation's "Informed" conference. "I have to say... that wasn't my experience with him."

Musk officially took ownership of Twitter in a $44 billion acquisition in late October and has been met with pushback by some Twitter users over his decisions regarding content moderation and user verification.

But Roth said the first few days of Musk's tenure "were sort of storm clouds, and they parted."

Musk had multiple opportunities to make bad and damaging decisions at Twitter but declined, according to Roth.

"Maybe part of it is that I and others were able to influence him not to do so, but he's not the unequivocal villain of this story, and I think it would be unfair to him and to the history of it to suggest that he is," Roth said.

Roth said he decided to quit two weeks into Musk's time at Twitter because it felt like the company had started to be ruled by "dictatorial edict."

"I don't know that he has a lot of people around him who push back on him," Roth added.

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