For the second time in less than a year, Twitter has no one in charge of content moderation. On Thursday Ella Irwin resigned as the head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety department just under 7 months after taking the job.
Irwin joined Twitter in June, 2022 in a different role, but took over as the head of Trust and Safety in early November, after the division’s previous boss, Yoel Roth, quit just 2 weeks after the company was acquired by Elon Musk.
At the time, Roth alluded to the slapdash way Musk managed the company from the start, writing in a New York Times editorial that “a Twitter whose policies are defined by unilateral edict has little need for a trust and safety function.”
Critics at the time worried that under Musk, Twitter would once again become a haven for hate speech and harassment, fears that were quickly realized when almost immediately there was a spike in racist and other forms of bigoted speech on Twitter.
Less than a month after quitting, Roth was forced to flee his home after Musk took Roth’s PhD thesis out of context and accused him of being a pedophile, resulting in numerous homophobic and antisemitic threats against Roth’s life.
Since then Musk has personally seen to it that hundreds of accounts that had been banned for violations of Twitter’s policies were reinstated. This included not only Donald Trump, but also, among others, a literal white supremacist. Subsequently, Twitter has lost at least half of its biggest advertisers, a decline experts say is due in part to concerns about unchecked offensive content on the platform.
Neither Twitter nor Musk have made a public statement about Irwin’s exit. But it’s one more headache that new Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino will have to deal with.
Attempts to contact Twitter via email were met with an auto-reply of a poop emoji.