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Elon Musk’s X appoints new safety chiefs as it seeks to rebuild ads business 



Elon Musk’s X said Tuesday it was appointing two new employees to oversee safety on the platform, as it seeks to rebuild relationships with the advertising industry and trust among users. 

The social media app said that Kylie McRoberts, an existing X employee, was being promoted to head of safety, and that Yale Cohen, an executive vice president at advertising and public relations firm Publicis Media, was joining X as head of brand safety and advertiser solutions. 

X’s advertising business has had a rocky 18 months since Musk bought the company formerly known as Twitter. In November, Musk sparked an advertiser exodus when he embraced an antisemitic conspiracy theory by calling it “the actual truth.” He then accused advertisers of trying to “blackmail” him and publicly cursed at them at a New York business summit. 

As of February, 75 out of the top 100 U.S. advertisers on X from October 2022 had ceased ad spending on the platform, according to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm. 

X has also faced criticism for the safety of users on X during Musk’s tenure. Musk eliminated the jobs of many people who worked on content moderation and reinstated the accounts of some white supremacists and other extremists. He also disbanded Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, a group of 12 outside experts who advised the company on subjects including fighting child exploitation material. 

Many members of vulnerable groups such as the LGBTQ community have said that X has become toxic under Musk, with harassment and bullying largely unchecked. 

Last month, Musk announced that he was dropping the word “trust” from X’s trust and safety team, saying that the word “is obviously a euphemism for censorship.” The term “trust and safety” is used throughout the tech industry as an umbrella term that includes content moderation and related subjects. 

Joe Benarroch, a spokesperson at X, said in a statement that McRoberts “has been instrumental in our recent progress towards achieving unparalleled safety and security for our platform.” She will oversee the global safety team, which is responsible for developing new safety features and maintaining safety policies, he said. 

Historically, the position has attracted intense scrutiny and controversy. 

McRoberts is at least the third safety head at the company since Musk bought it. The two people who held the title previously, Ella Irwin and Yoel Roth, both left after less than a year working for Musk. Roth resigned and warned that Musk was making policy by “edict,” rather than through a thoughtful process, and Musk later smeared him with false accusations that he advocated child grooming in a 2016 academic paper. 

Irwin left in June 2023, after Musk overruled a previous decision to limit the spread of an anti-transgender video. She said that Musk was no longer aligned with her core principles. 

Cohen and two additional hires working with him “will continue to ensure a safe advertising experience for customers and brands on X,” Benarroch said. 

X did not immediately respond to an interview request for McRoberts and Cohen. 





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