Elon Musk’s X Names New Head Of Safety

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) has made two high profile ‘Safety’ appointments, in a move to encourage advertisers to return the platform.

X Safety tweeted that that it was “thrilled to announce the appointment of two new key leaders: Kylie McRoberts, who will now become the Head of Safety, and Yale Cohen, who joins X’s Safety team as Head of Brand Safety and Advertiser Solutions.”

It comes nine months after X’s previous head of Trust and Safety stepped down. In June 2023 Twitter’s then head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, confirmed she had resigned – a week after the platform had withdrawn from the European code of practice on disinformation.

Previous Trust and Safety Heads

Irwin’s resignation from overseeing Twitter’s then Trust and Safety team, came amid a slew of other executive resignations and mass firings at the company, that included 80 percent of the workforce being let go.

Ella Irwin had only been in the role for seven months, after taken over the job from Yoel Roth, who had resigned in the weeks following Musk’s takeover.

Yoel Roth had resigned in November 2022, which was a surprising development, as he had emerged as part of Musk’s new leadership team of Twitter 2.0, amid the chaos of the Musk takeover.

After Roth’s resignation, Roth and his family were forced to flee their home for a time after Elon Musk misrepresented online Roth’s academic writing, prompting threats against Roth from Musk’s supporters.

In August 2023 it was announced that Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino were to jointly oversee trust and safety at X.

Then last month Musk tweeted that he would change the name of X’s “Trust and Safety” team to simply the “Safety” team.

“Any organisation that puts ‘Trust’ in their name cannot trusted, as that is obviously a euphemism for censorship. We are changing the name of our Trust & Safety group, to simply @Safety,” Musk said. “Trust is something that must be earned. The goal of our Safety team is simply to ensure compliance with the laws that already exist to protect the people.”

New Safety Heads

Now X Safety has confirmed the appointments of Kylie McRoberts as Head of Safety, and Yale Cohen as Head of Brand Safety and Advertiser Solutions.

Kylie McRoberts is a nearly four-year veteran of Twitter, and will oversee the company’s global safety team and work to build out a new safety hub in Austin, Texas.

Yale Cohen meanwhile joins X from marketing firm Publicis Media, and his hiring comes amid ongoing efforts at X to encourage advertisers to return to the platform.

“Since the acquisition we’ve deeply invested in partnerships, products, and policies to keep brands on X safe,” said the platform. “X advertisers now have a level of control that largely did not exist a year ago. As our new Head of Brand Safety and Advertiser Solutions, Yale and his new team at X will continue to ensure a safe advertising experience for customers and brands on X.”

Their roles will not have been helped by Musk’s past outbursts, which has resulted in the platform facing accusations of being overrun by trolls, and ongoing scrutiny over the spread of hate speech, conspiracy theories and other controversial content.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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