Ella Irwin, Twitter’s former Head of Trust and Safety, resigned in June this year from the social media company. She became the second person in that position to resign since Elon Musk took over the company. In a recent interview with NBC News, she stated that working at the company under the new boss was the most challenging experience that she has gone through in her career.
During her tenure at the company, Irwin was responsible for overseeing content moderation. She was also responsible for Twitter’s efforts to fight misinformation and hate speech on the platform. Before her work at Twitter, she spent two years as the vice president of loss prevention at Twilio. She worked for Amazon, targeting marketplace abuse, such as fake reviews and counterfeit items. Her departure comes as Twitter faces a continued exodus of advertisers concerned about appearing next to unsuitable content on the site.
In her first interview since leaving the company, Irwin said she found aligning her ‘nonnegotiable principles’ with the company’s direction under Musk increasingly challenging. She said that she felt that several policy changes made by the new CEO had removed protections for people such as victims of sexual assault and children who are subjected to child pornography. Among other things, she criticized the removal of language from policies that prohibited’misgendering’.
One of the biggest challenges that Irwin had to face was the ongoing backlash against Twitter for its lax content moderation policies. Over the past year, the site has faced a wave of criticism for being lenient in removing hate speech and other harmful content from its platform. Twitter has also struggled with technical issues, layoffs, and an exodus of advertisers wary about appearing next to the site’s controversial content.
While Irwin remained at Twitter for just seven months, she made a big impression during her short tenure. She was described as a “hard-nosed and passionate” employee who was never afraid to stand up for her beliefs, even at the expense of company morale. Her co-workers praised her drive to uncover problems, but at times, it created workplace enemies and was a significant source of tension in the office.
Her resignation came just hours after the Twitter owner publicly rebuked her staff for their decision to remove a video by conservative activist Matt Walsh that attacks transgender women. Irwin did not provide a reason for her departure, but her internal Slack account appears to have been deactivated. The Twitter head of trust and safety position is now being held by a former Comcast executive, Linda Yaccarino. A spokesman for the company declined to comment. The spokesman told Reuters that the company is “taking steps to ensure advertisers have confidence in Twitter as they choose where their ads appear.” He said it was too soon to say whether the changes under new leadership would impact the company’s ad sales.