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Twitter's Safety Chief Quit. Here's Why.

In this photo illustration, the Twitter app is seen in the Apple App Store on an Apple iPhone 13 Pro in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2022. - Twitter owner Elon Musk on November 28 opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM / AFP) (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter's Safety Chief Quit. Here's Why.

In this photo illustration, the Twitter app is seen in the Apple App Store on an Apple iPhone 13 Pro in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2022. - Twitter owner Elon Musk on November 28 opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM / AFP) (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter's Safety Chief Quit. Here's Why.

It didn't take long for Elon Musk's stated vision for Twitter—a "digital town square" where all legal speech flows freely—to run head long into reality. Namely, the fact that many citizens of that town square want to share inaccurate, racist or violent ideas. Yoel Roth used to lead the team that set the rules for what was allowed on Twitter, and aimed to keep users safe. Not long after Musk took over the company, Roth quit. In an interview, he explains why he left and what he thinks is ahead for the company. This episode also features reporting from NPR's Shannon Bond. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

In this photo illustration, the Twitter app is seen in the Apple App Store on an Apple iPhone 13 Pro in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2022. - Twitter owner Elon Musk on November 28 opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM / AFP) (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images

 

It didn't take long for Elon Musk's stated vision for Twitter—a "digital town square" where all legal speech flows freely—to run head long into reality. Namely, the fact that many citizens of that town square want to share inaccurate, racist or violent ideas.

Yoel Roth used to lead the team that set the rules for what was allowed on Twitter, and aimed to keep users safe. Not long after Musk took over the company, Roth quit.

In an interview, he explains why he left and what he thinks is ahead for the company.

This episode also features reporting from NPR's Shannon Bond.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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