Twitter’s former head of trust and safety Yoel Roth stood by the decision to suspend satire website The Babylon Bee for “misgendering” Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. A few days ago, Roth said that Twitter made a mistake in suppressing the spread of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The Babylon Bee was locked out from Twitter earlier this year after it awarded Levine “Man of the Year.” The account was reinstated after Musk took over Twitter.
Roth told a Knight Foundation panel, that was later released on Kara Swisher’s On podcast, that he agreed with banning the satire.
“You can like the policies or you can dislike the policies, but it’s the same rules for everyone,” Roth said about Twitter’s rules. “When you repeatedly tweet violations of a policy there are consequences, including account timeouts, and ultimately, they can lead to suspension. And they did.
“You can change the law if you want to, and Mr. Musk clearly did this week, but there was a written policy and it was enforced as written.”
Host Kara Swisher then asked Roth about the banning of The Babylon Bee’s account.
“I want to start by acknowledging that the targeting and the victimization of the trans community on Twitter is very real, very life-threatening, and extraordinarily serious,” Roth responded. “We have seen from a number of Twitter accounts, including Libs of TikTok notably, that there are orchestrated campaigns that particularly are singling out a group that is already particularly vulnerable within society.
“Not only is it not funny, but it is dangerous, and it does contribute to an environment that makes people unsafe in the world. So, let’s start from the premise that it’s fucked up.”
“Misgendering,” – not referring to someone by the pronouns they decide on, is still controversially not allowed under Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.