Fired censorship chief wants to censor Twitter from the outside

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Published 21 November 2022 at 17.11

Foreign. Twitter's former censorship chief Yoel Roth, who was forced out of the company after Elon Musk's buyout earlier this fall, wants to continue censoring Twitter. Now he presents an aggressive plan on how Apple, Google and the authorities will oppose the platform from the outside.

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Yoel Roth (not to be confused with the pedophile rabbi Yoel Roth) became famous after Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter as the most prominent left-wing activist still left at the company.

Roth was and is a passionate opponent of freedom of expression and had, among other things, called Donald Trump an “orange-colored racist” and his government “pure Nazis”.

In an article in the New York Times, Yoel Roth now presents a plan for how the establishment will be able to force out platforms that try to allow freedom of speech online.

Roth's plan is similar to the treatment other social networks, such as Parler and Gab, received when they tried to offer users free speech. In particular, Yoel Roth points to the importance of blacklisting in Google and Apple's app services, so that Twitter cannot be installed on mobile phones or tablets.

“Failure to follow Apple's and Google's guidelines would be catastrophic and risk get Twitter banned from their app stores and make it harder for billions of potential users to access Twitter's services. This gives Apple and Google enormous power to shape the decisions Twitter makes,” Roth writes.

Unless Apple and Google want to censor Elon Musk, Roth suggests that government agencies should act instead. Especially in the EU, according to Roth, there is a strong tradition of censorship and the European authorities have the ability to intervene against “hateful expressions” on the platform, which could be expensive for Twitter.

“Supervisory authorities have significant tools to at its disposal to enforce its will when it comes to Twitter and Musk. The fines for non-compliance with Europe's digital services law can amount to as much as 6 percent of the company's annual revenue,” Roth excitedly writes, continuing:

“In other key markets for Twitter, such as India, employees are braving personal threats of arrest if their employers fail to comply with local directives. Even a Musk-led Twitter will find it difficult to escape these restrictions”.

< p>If major corporations' attempts to counter Elon Musk's plans for free speech through ad boycotts don't work, Roth writes, there is still a censorship machinery in the form of government agencies and Google and Apple, which can intervene instead.