Twitter’s former head of trust and safety admitted the company made a mistake when it censored and scrubbed the Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 presidential election.
Yoel Roth, who stepped down earlier this month following Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media giant, said in an interview Wednesday that the New York Post’s story about the laptop and its scandalous contents was blocked from Twitter because it was difficult to verify.
“We didn’t know what to believe, we didn’t know what was true, there was smoke – and ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter,” Roth said to journalist Kara Swisher.
“But it set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack and leak campaign alarm bells,” he continued, referring to an infamous Russian hacking group. “Everything about it looked like a hack and leak.”
“So it was a mistake?” Swisher pressed.
“In my opinion, yes,” Roth responded.
Twitter deliberately censored and blocked users from sharing links to the bombshell New York Post expose that included emails suggesting business ties between Hunter and his father, then-candidate Joe Biden, in Oct. 2020.
At the time, they were dismissed by mainstream media outlets as fake or “Russian disinformation.” Major outlets like the New York Times only began to confirm the laptop’s contents as authentic.
Roth’s comments come as Musk promises to fully disclose what led to Twitter’s decision to quash the story.
“This is necessary to restore public trust,” the new CEO tweeted about the move.
Jack Dorsey, who was Twitter’s CEO at the time, has also admitted that blocking the Hunter Biden story was a “total mistake,” but neither he nor Roth has revealed who made the decision.