Twitter's former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, has been forced to flee his home in the wake of intensifying threats of violence.
CNN reported that Roth came under attack after the release of the "Twitter Files," which Twitter CEO Elon Musk released through journalists like Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss. On Monday, Weiss showed screenshots showing internal company communications which included the debate on whether or not to suspend Donald Trump in 2021.
Musk himself defended Roth's tweets in October, while Roth was still employed with the company. His public support deteriorated after Roth left the company in November. Over the weekend, Musk turned to the platform to imply in more than one tweet that Roth had a permissive view of pedophilia. (This tactic is common among conspiracy theorists who attack people online.)
Among the tweets posted by Musk was one that posted a screenshot from Roth's Ph.D. thesis claiming a section argues favoring children being able to access adult internet services like Grindr. The thesis stated, "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."
Someone familiar with the matter told CNN that threats had been made against Roth in the wake of Musk's tweets and that this is the first time Roth has found himself in the public eye.
Roth was critical of then-President Trump in a number of tweets in 2016 and 2017 that have resurfaced to be used to argue that both Roth and Twitter were biased against the president.
One tweet, from Election Day 2016, read, "I'm just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason."
At the time, Twitter came to Roth's defense and said, "No one person at Twitter is responsible for our policies or enforcement actions, and it's unfortunate to see individual employees targeted for company decisions."
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