Penn says access to former Twitter employee’s thesis was ‘mistakenly closed off’ following Elon Musk tweets

Elon Musk

An Ivy League university is blaming an “error” for the brief disappearance of the doctoral dissertation of a former Twitter employee whose writings on gay dating apps drew public scorn from Elon Musk.

As Fox News first reported, on Saturday the PhD thesis by Yoel Roth, who until November had been Twitter’s head of trust and safety, seemed to have been removed from the University of Pennsylvania’s ScholarlyCommons website. 

A Penn official told Fox: 

On December 10, access to the dissertation of University of Pennsylvania graduate Yoel Roth, Ph.D., was mistakenly closed off on Scholarly Commons, one of the two digital sites on which dissertations by Penn doctoral graduates can be publicly accessed …

That error triggered a pre-set statement in the vendor’s system inaccurately indicating that the paper had been withdrawn. 

The 302-page paper, titled “Gay Data,” is now available. On the day of the disappearance, Musk – whose tumultuous control over Twitter began in late October – had used the forum  to suggest that Roth was at least sympathetic to pedophilia:

Roth, who is gay, resigned from Twitter in mid-November, citing Musk’s autocratic reign as the chief reason: 

In appointing himself “chief twit,” Mr. Musk has made clear that at the end of the day, he’ll be the one calling the shots.

It was for this reason that I chose to leave the company: A Twitter whose policies are defined by edict has little need for a trust and safety function dedicated to its principled development.

We learned about the disappearing thesis over the weekend but Penn did not respond to our request for comment before speaking with Fox News. Penn sent us the comment they sent to Fox after we followed up today, but did not respond to our follow-up question about how the mistake happened.

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3 thoughts on “Penn says access to former Twitter employee’s thesis was ‘mistakenly closed off’ following Elon Musk tweets”

  1. This is what happens when someone who has a pathological aversion to losing and has lots of money. This is not the first time he has done something like this because he didn’t like someones comments on him. I assume that what his lawyers have said is to always find some evidence of something, and then express your opinion on that evidence. This then makes it difficult to prove defamation, so his lawyers can grind anyone down until they run out of money. It wouldn’t surprise me if he runs anything like this through the lawyers anyway, and he also would have people to look after his image. Did he really read the thesis or did he tell an employee to dig up any dirt on the guy?

  2. I really had a lot to say but upon consideration I will limit myself to “vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas”.

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