Twitter 'Fact-Checking' Chief Called Trump Admin 'ACTUAL NAZIS,' Blasted Supporters
Executive in charge of president's 'fact check' has history of anti-Trump posts
The Twitter executive in charge of the recent "fact check" against the president has a history of anti-Trump posts, once blasting the White House as being occupied by "ACTUAL NAZIS."
The "Head of Site Integrity" for the company, Yoel Roth, boasts on his LinkedIn profile that he is in charge of "developing and enforcing Twitter’s rules."
His responsibilities include leading the new "fact-checking" push that led Twitter to slap a new "misleading" warning label on two of President Trump's tweets after he criticized mail-in balloting on Tuesday.
However, Roth's own barrage of politically-charged, anti-Trump tweets calls into question whether he should be creating guidelines for the president and other Twitter users.
Twitter is increasingly coming under fire for its alleged left-wing bias.
Commentators argue that President Trump's tweets on the risks of mail-in voting are not misleading, with the fact-check appearing to many as a partisan effort to suppress conservative voices on the platform.
The president is now accusing Twitter of seeking to "interfere" in the upcoming election under the guise of a supposedly neutral "fact-checking" policy.
Roth has previously referred to Trump and his team as "ACTUAL NAZIS," mocked Trump supporters by saying that "we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason," and called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a "personality-free bag of farts."
In September 2016, Roth tweeted, "I’ve never donated to a presidential campaign before, but I just gave $100 to Hillary for America. We can’t fu-k around anymore."
I’ve never donated to a presidential campaign before, but I just gave $100 to Hillary for America. We can’t fuck around anymore.— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) September 27, 2016
When Trump won the November 2016 election, Roth dejectedly chalked the development up to "[Bernie] Sanders protest voters, and racism," before sounding more optimistic notes.
"I’m almost ready to stop dwelling on how my friends are complicit in the election of Donald Trump," he said on Jan. 7, 2017. "Almost."
"Massive anti-Trump protest headed up Valencia St," Roth wrote on Jan. 20, 2017, followed by a "heart" emoji and the words "San Francisco."
Massive anti-Trump protest headed up Valencia St. ❤ San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/GFYQyrAZZD— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) January 21, 2017
In response to a Fox News report, Twitter directed the outlet to a tweet from Twitter VP of Communications Brandon Borrman: "No one person here is responsible for our polices or enforcement actions. People who decide to target one person for decisions they don't agree with know damn well what they're doing."
Twitter declined to elaborate as to why Roth's apparent biases were not relevant given what he has acknowledged is a leading role in deciding how to flag certain discourse on the platform.
Indeed, Roth sometimes opened up about his heart, and apparent political bias, on Twitter.
"'Every time a cute boy uses an Android phone, I die inside' is the new 'Every time a cute boy tells me he's a Republican, I die inside,'" he said in 2011.
"I occasionally worry that my mother WASN'T joking all those times she told us she was voting Republican," he wrote in 2012.
I’m just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist tangerine for a reason.— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) November 9, 2016
For the most part, though, Roth urged his followers to unite, especially after Trump's inauguration.
"The 'you are not the right kind of feminist' backlash to yesterday's marches has begun," Roth wrote on Jan. 22, 2017.
"Did we learn nothing from this election?"
Yes, that person in the pink hat is clearly a bigger threat to your brand of feminism than ACTUAL NAZIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE.— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) January 22, 2017
Also on Jan. 22, 2017, Roth compared senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Several of Roth's tweets were first resurfaced by The New York Post's Jon Levine early Wednesday morning.
Roth's most polemical and political posts, which do not carry any warning label, were under extra scrutiny as Trump accused Twitter of "interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election" by again acting out of apparent left-wing bias.
The president vowed to take unspecified action.
On Wednesday morning, Trump threatened to "strongly regulate" or "close down" social media platforms that "silence conservatives' voices."
Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
....happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
The episode began early Tuesday when Trump wrote:
"There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.
"Mailboxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.
"The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one.
"That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote.
"This will be a Rigged Election. No way!!"
Within hours, Twitter then appended an unprecedented label to the bottom of the tweet reading, "Get the facts about mail-in ballots."
Clicking that label brings readers to a paragraph reading in part: "Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud. ...
"Fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud."
How does a personality-free bag of farts like Mitch McConnell actually win elections?— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) July 28, 2017
Twitter's warning label was placed on Trump's tweets even though a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that Trump's tweet had not broken any of the platform's rules, and despite the fact that several experts have called mail-in balloting an invitation to widespread fraud, as Trump said in his tweets.
"Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud," read the conclusion of a bipartisan 2005 report authored by the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which was chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker.
"Twitter 'fact-checkers' really suck," wrote Dan Bongino, a Fox News contributor. He linked to a 2012 article in The New York Times headlined, "Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises." The article states that "votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show."
A Twitter thread Tuesday by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany highlighted numerous recent stories documenting fraud concerns over mail-in ballots across the country, including a Fox News piece.
Twitter “fact-checkers” really suck: 👇🏻👇🏻— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 26, 2020
“votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised & more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show.” https://t.co/CM2ARWBuHi
The brouhaha erupted just two months after Twitter flagged a video uploaded by the Trump campaign as "manipulated media," only to rebuff the campaign's efforts to have the platform flag a similar video uploaded by the Biden team.
In March, Roth sat for an interview with NPR, in which he emphasized that he was working to combat "election disinformation."
"I think in 2020, we're facing a particularly divisive political moment here in the United States, and attempts to capitalize on those divisions amongst Americans seem to be where malicious actors are headed," Roth said.
"This is a similar pattern to what we saw in 2016 and 2018, but one of the things that we've seen from not only Russia but a wide range of malicious actors is an attempt to capitalize on some of the major domestic voices that are participating in these conversations and then double down on some of those activities."
The Trump campaign, however, was less amused.
"We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters," Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.
"Partnering with the biased fake news media 'fact-checkers' is only a smokescreen Twitter is using to try to lend their obvious political tactics some false credibility.
"There are many reasons the Trump campaign pulled all our advertising from Twitter months ago, and their clear political bias is one of them."