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(LifeSiteNews) — The former head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, Yoel Roth, argued in favor of teenagers being on the homosexual “dating app” Grindr in his Ph.D. thesis. 

On December 10, Elon Musk posted a screenshot of the paragraph of Roth’s thesis, adding that it “Looks like Yoel is arguing in favor of children being able to access adult Internet services in his Ph.D. thesis[.]” 

Roth’s Ph.D. thesis was written in 2016 and is titled “Gay Data.” It deals with “geosocial networking services,” especially Grindr, a “dating app” for homosexual men. 

In his thesis, Roth, who is homosexual, argued in favor of minors being on platforms that are associated with explicit sexual content. He referred to the protection of underage people from sexual content on the Internet as a “paranoid narrative”: 

Questions of physical safety become even more urgent when they’re coupled with what Wendy Chun (2006) has called one of the most enduring “paranoid narratives” of digital media: the need to protect minors from the unregulated sexual wilds of the internet.

According to Roth, in the discussions surrounding youth protection on apps like Grindr, it was rarely acknowledged “that the new medium of gay-targeted social networking may be a crucial social outlet for gay, bisexual, and questioning youth.” 

“While gay youth-oriented chat rooms and social networking services were available in the early 2000s, these services have largely fallen by the wayside, in favor of general-purpose platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat,” he stated. 

“Perhaps this is truly representative of an increasingly absent demand among young adults for networked spaces to engage with peers about their sexuality; but it’s worth considering how, if at all, the current generation of popular sites of gay networked sociability might fit into an overall queer social landscape that increasingly includes individuals under the age of 18.” 

READ: Elon Musk confirms Twitter ‘shadow banned’ conservative political candidates

While Roth admitted that Grindr may be “too lewd” and “too hook-up-oriented” for minors, he argued that teenagers should not be excluded from the platform, because it could be space for “safely connecting queer young adults”:

Even with the service’s extensive content management, Grindr may well be too lewd or too hook-up-oriented to be a safe and age-appropriate resource for teenagers; but the fact that people under 18 are on these services already indicates that we can’t readily dismiss these platforms out of hand as loci for queer youth culture.

Rather than merely trying to absolve themselves of legal responsibility or, worse, trying to drive out teenagers entirely, service providers should instead focus on crafting safety strategies that can accommodate a wide variety of use cases for platforms like Grindr — including, possibly, their role in safely connecting queer young adults.

This was not the only time that Roth seemingly favored exposing teenagers to sexual content and even sexual encounters with peers or adults. 

Musk posted the screenshot of Roth’s Ph.D. thesis underneath a tweet by Eliza Bleu, who dug up a tweet by Roth from 2010 in which he shared an article titled “Student-teacher sex: When is it OK?” 

The article deals with the case of a teacher who was charged with “sexual misconduct with a minor” for having sexual relations with an 18-year-old student. The author discusses the possibility of the sexual encounter going unpunished since it was an action between “consenting adults.” 

READ: Elon Musk releases ‘Twitter files’ confirming employees were censoring for Dems in 2020

Musk responded to Bleu sharing Roth’s old Tweet by saying “This explains a lot.” 

The new Twitter owner has reportedly been focused on removing child sexual abuse material from the platform since taking over.

Both Musk and Bleu, who is an activist against human trafficking, have accused former Twitter executives of consciously leaving sexually abusive content on the platform while censoring “politically incorrect” tweets and accounts. 

In January 2021, the New York Post reported that Twitter refused to remove pornographic material involving minors because they “ didn’t find a violation” of the company’s “policies.” 

In a recent Twitter exchange between the platform’s former CEO Jack Dorsey and Musk, the new Twitter owner said that “[i]t is a crime that they refused to take action on child exploitation for years!” to which Dorsey replied, “this is false.” 

Musk came back at the former Twitter CEO by refuting him: 

According to the recently released “Twitter files,” Roth played a key role in Twitter censoring, shadow-banning, and permanently suspending conservative and dissident voices, including former President Donald Trump. Roth said that he “chose to leave” Twitter in November, following Musk’s takeover of the company.