Twitter’s former head of security says the platform is less secure under Elon Musk

In his first public interview since abruptly leaving Twitter, Yoel Roth, the company’s former head of trust and safety, said he believes the platform is less secure under Elon Musk. Speaking at an event hosted by the Knight Foundation, Roth said “No,” when asked if he still thinks Twitter is more secure since Musk took over.

Roth’s comments are particularly notable because he was one of the only top executives to publicly discuss what was happening on Twitter in the chaotic days after Musk took over. Roth, a longtime member of Twitter’s policy team, detailed the coordinates that caused a surge in racist slurs on the platform. Musk has often highlighted his tweets and pointed to his explanations of what Twitter is doing to stop racist attacks.

But Roth said that while he was initially optimistic, a breakdown in “procedural legitimacy” ultimately led him to leave. He noted that Musk had said he wanted to form a “moderation board” before making major policy decisions on Twitter, but Musk quickly indicated he would prefer to make decisions on his own.

“He was saying things that were consistent with having a moderation board, that were consistent with not making capricious, unilateral decisions, and I was optimistic based on that,” Roth said. “My optimism finally wore off.”

Roth also pointed to the botched launch of Twitter Blue and paid for the vetting, saying his team warned Musk ahead of time, but he chose to ignore their concerns. “It came out exactly the way we anticipated, and there weren’t the safeguards that needed to be put in place to address it ahead of time,” Roth said, referring to the scams and impersonations that followed Twitter’s initial launch. Blue. .

Roth’s comments come as Musk prepares to check Twitter Blue later this week. In his latest comments, Musk said there will be different badge colors for companies and individuals, and that there will be a manual authentication process.

While Roth said he doesn’t think Twitter will have a “spectacular moment of failure,” as some former employees have said in the wake of mass layoffs and resignations at the company, he said users should pay close attention if key safety features such as lock and mute. , continue to work as normal, as well as privacy protection features such as protected tweets. “If protected tweets stop working, run, because it’s a symptom that something is deeply wrong,” he said.

He also said that while Twitter could improve its machine learning systems, the company’s lack of veteran policies and security staff would hurt the platform.

“There are enough people who understand the emerging malicious campaigns happening on the service and understand them well enough to guide product strategy and policy direction,” he said. “I don’t think there are enough people left at the company to do that job.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *