Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth testified Wednesday the New York Post’s bombshell story about Hunter Biden’s laptop did not violate any of Twitter’s policies despite the newspaper being censored for it.
During the House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) grilled Roth over Twitter’s decision to suspend the New York Post’s account in the days leading up to the 2020 election.
“Mr. Roth, within just mere minutes or hours after the New York Post published its story on the Hunter Biden laptop, at 8:51 am you sent a message to a team, part of your team, I assume, and you said ‘it isn’t clearly violative of our hack materials policy,’ referring to the story, ‘nor is it clearly in violation of anything else.’ Do you remember sending that message?” Biggs asked.
Former Twitter exec Yoel Roth admits the @nypost’s Hunter Biden’s laptop story didn’t violate any of Twitter’s policies.
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) February 8, 2023
Roth replied, “I don’t recall that message specifically, but that does sound like my judgment on that day, yes.”
Citing internal emails revealed in the Twitter Files, Biggs when on to point out how Twitter’s former legal counsel Jim Baker assured Roth that he’s “seen some reliable cyber security folks questioned the authenticity of the emails in another way.”
Biggs then referred to Roth’s reply to Baker that “the key factor in forming our approach is consensus from experts monitoring election security and disinformation, that this looks a lot like a hack and leak that learned from the 2016 Wiki Leaks approach.”
Biggs then asked Roth if he could name any of these so-called experts that reached a consensus that morning.
“Twitter did not give me access to any of my documents or emails to prepare for this hearing. And so unfortunately, I can’t give you a direct answer,” Roth replied.
“Were there experts, were there people that you consulted, that were cybersecurity experts between 9 am and 10:15 am on that day?” Biggs asked.
Roth cited “cybersecurity experts” who were “tweeting” about the Hunter Biden story as having influence on Twitter’s judgement to censor the story.
“My recollection is that we were following discussions about this incident as they unfolded on Twitter. So cybersecurity experts were tweeting about this incident and sharing their perspectives and that informed some of Twitter’s judgment here,” Roth conceded. “But I want to emphasize, as I said in my statement, I didn’t think that the evidence or those perspectives warranted removal, and I advocated against taking that action.”