(LifeSiteNews) – Yoel Roth, former “trust and safety” chief at the social network formerly known as Twitter, lamented in a recent interview that a range of lawsuits and investigations are making it more difficult for tech companies to regulate the online exchange of arguments and factual claims, going so far as to suggest losing the ability to silence others is the real “silencing.”
Breitbart reported that Roth made the remarks in a recent interview with tech journalist Kara Swisher, during which he complained that “we’ve stopped having a conversation about the facts. We’ve stopped having a debate about which ideas are good, which ideas are bad. We’ve entered this phase where silencing people has become the de facto way to advance your interests.”
“Hundreds of university researchers, people who are not usually in the limelight … are now getting sued, and are subject to discovery in these lawsuits, and are having to turn over thousands of emails between them and their students, and about research projects, for ultimately frivolous and vexatious lawsuits about, I dunno, censorship or something,” he continued. “These are, to be clear, not people who could censor anybody on any social media platform, but they’re now being sued.”
Roth resigned from Twitter, since rebranded X, last year shortly after new owner Elon Musk took over with the express purpose of taking a more neutral and hands-off approach to users’ political speech. One of Musk’s first acts was to begin releasing a trove of internal company communications shedding light on the previous management’s censorship activities.
The material revealed that, despite his latest protests to Swisher, Roth was one of multiple senior executives instrumental in making numerous censorship decisions, including the unprecedented move to permanently suspend the account of then-President Donald Trump, and that Roth and others frequently met with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to discuss objectionable content.
The so-called Twitter Files also revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation primed Roth to censor the true story about a discarded laptop belonging to then-candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter on the false suggestion that it was inaccurate “Russian propaganda,” Roth later claimed in congressional testimony that he did not bother to consult with cybersecurity experts on the government’s claims that the laptop story was the result of a hacking operation.
As to the ongoing censorship issue, the lawsuits Roth alluded to include a series of challenges to the Biden administration’s practice of discussing objectionable social media content with platforms’ management, which the challengers argue turns private content moderation decisions into illegal government restriction of free speech. The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to consider the matter next year.
“I have rarely seen evil in as pure a form as Yoel Roth and Kara Swisher’s heart is filled with seething hate,” Musk said October 2. “I regard their dislike of me as a compliment.”