© Knight FoundationThe former Twitter executive and safety chief, Yoel Roth (right), admitted it was a mistake to cover up Hunter Biden's infamous laptop.
Took him long enough.
The former Twitter executive and safety chief who played a key role in censoring The Post
's October 2020 exposé
on Hunter Biden's infamous laptop has admitted it was a mistake — more than two years later while his onetime boss, Elon Musk, acknowledged Wednesday that the social media giant "has interfered in elections.".
Yoel Roth, who was Twitter's head of trust and safety until he quit
in November in the wake of Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover, confessed Tuesday that the company erred in restricting people from sharing the scoop.
In an interview with journalist Kara Swisher
, Roth appeared to deflect the blame — insisting that even though he had concerns about the authenticity of the first son's device, it never got to the point where he thought the story should be suppressed.
"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 during an interview at the Knight Foundation conference.
"But it set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 'hack and leak campaign' alarm bells," he added, using an alternative name for the Russian cybercrime group Fancy Bear
Asked if it was a mistake for Twitter to have blocked the story from being shared, Roth responded: "In my opinion, yes."
Musk, Twitter's new CEO, responded Wednesday to a shot from Roth, who answered "no" when Swisher asked if he still felt safety
on the site had improved under new management.
"The obvious reality, as long-time users know, is that Twitter has failed in trust & safety for a very long time and has interfered in elections," the South Africa-born billionaire said. "Twitter 2.0 will be far more effective, transparent and even-handed."
The billionaire's comments were in response to a fellow user calling Roth's former "trust and safety" team a "disgrace"
— and claiming that he has no right to judge how Musk is running the company now.
Jack Dorsey, who was Twitter's CEO at the time of the censorship, already admitted during a congressional hearing on misinformation and social media in March of last year that blocking The Post
's report was a "total mistake."
© New York Post
But he stopped short of revealing who was responsible for the blunder.
Roth's comments come as Musk teased the release of Twitter's internal files on the company's "free speech suppression,
" though he has yet to say when that will take place.
Roth was among the many Twitter employees to quit in November after Musk took over as CEO.
Musk has previously insisted full disclosure
was needed to determine why the social media giant decided to block the bombshell report about President Biden's son in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election.
At the time, Twitter had also locked The Post
out of its account for more than two weeks because of baseless claims that the expose on the trove of emails discovered on Hunter's laptop had used hacked information.
The 51-year-old Musk, who has vowed to turn Twitter into a bastion of free speech, has been teasing the release of internal files
about the decision for several days, arguing that the "public deserves to know what really happened."
"This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead," he tweeted Monday after vowing the files were "soon to be published on Twitter itself."
Musk had already made his stance clear on the debacle, saying back in April that the platform's decision to restrict the sharing of The Post's report was "obviously incredibly inappropriate."
Twitter wasn't the only social media platform to censor the bombshell report.
Facebook also took extraordinary measures to prevent people from sharing the article — a move founder Mark Zuckerberg later pinned on the FBI.
Twitter locked The Post out of its Twitter account because of baseless claims that the expose on the trove of emails discovered on Hunter's laptop had used hacked information.
Zuckerberg revealed in an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan in August that Facebook moved to suppress the report in response to a vague FBI warning about possible "Russian propaganda" tied to the 2020 presidential election.
"Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us — some folks on our team — and was like, 'Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert,'" Zuckerberg said.
"We just kind of thought: Hey, look, if the FBI, which I still view is a legitimate institution in this country, it's a very professional law enforcement — they come to us and tell us that we need to be on guard about something, then I want to take that seriously."
The tech titan said he couldn't recall if the FBI had specifically warned about the Hunter laptop story.