Twitter "made a mistake" by censoring the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election, the company’s former safety chief testified to Congress on Wednesday.
Yoel Roth, the former head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety division, said the Post’s reporting on Biden’s laptop records on Oct. 14, 2020, "at first glance, bore a lot of similarities to the 2016 Russian hack-and-leak operation targeting the DNC."
"In that moment, with limited information, Twitter made a mistake," Roth testified to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday. "Under the distribution of hacked material policy the company decided to prevent links to the New York Post stories about the laptop from being shared across the service."
The comments were the strongest acknowledgment yet by top Twitter officials that the social media site’s decision to block sharing of the bombshell news story was unwarranted under the company’s policies.
While many former U.S. intelligence officials initially claimed the story had hallmarks of "Russian disinformation," the validity of the laptop was later corroborated by news outlets.
Roth previously said he argued against blocking the New York Post story, telling colleagues there was not enough evidence that the records were hacked and that the decision seemed arbitrary. He told Congress he was overruled by his boss, Twitter vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey.
The House Oversight Committee is investigating Twitter’s treatment of the laptop story and heard testimony from several senior Twitter employees, including Roth, attorney Vijaya Gadde, and former deputy general counsel Jim Baker.