Twitter will no longer remove hacked content and instead will label Tweets to provide context after Republicans threatened to subpoena CEO Jack Dorsey for shutting down President Trump‘s campaign account and blocking links to Biden Ukraine stories.
The company’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead announced the policy changes on Thursday, saying the new rules applied unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them and that the new measures were in place instead of blocking links from being shared.
‘Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,’ Vijaya Gadde posted.
‘After reflecting on this feedback, we have decided to make changes to the policy and how we enforce it.’
‘Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,’ Vijaya Gadde posted
GOP senators fumed that users were unable to share information from one of the nation’s largest circulation papers
Gadde said the company wanted to ‘address the concerns that there could be many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation.’
It came after they blocked linked to a New York Post story that the publication said was provided by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
A computer repair store owner said a man he couldn’t identify brought three computers into his shop for repair last fall, and that he then made a copy and provided it to the FBI and to Giuliani’s lawyer.
The post has published business emails as well as photos of Biden, and says it contains explicit information as well.
‘We put the Hacked Materials Policy in place back in 2018 to discourage and mitigate harms associated with hacks and unauthorized exposure of private information,’ Gadde continued in a series of tweets Thursday.
‘We tried to find the right balance between people’s privacy and the right of free expression, but we can do better.’
The Post’s story purported to expose corrupt dealings by Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine.
The newspaper claimed that the former vice president, who was in charge of US policy toward Ukraine, took actions to help his son, who in 2014-2017 sat on the board of controversial Ukraine energy company Burisma. But the newspaper’s source for the information raised questions.
The report also made claims about Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine which were contrary to the record.
Wary of ‘fake news’ campaigns, both Facebook and Twitter said they took action out of caution over the article and its sourcing.
‘We’ve recently added new product capabilities, such as labels to provide people with additional context,’ Gadded continued. ‘We are no longer limited to Tweet removal as an enforcement action.
‘We believe that labeling Tweets and empowering people to assess content for themselves better serves the public interest and public conversation. The Hacked Material Policy is being updated to reflect these new enforcement capabilities.’
Gadde said all the other Twitter Rules will still apply to the posting of or linking to hacked materials, such as rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media, and non-consensual nudity.
The Biden campaign rejected the assertions of corruption in the report, but has not denied the veracity of the underlying materials, mostly emails between Hunter Biden and business partners.
Trump, who trails Biden in polls 19 days before the presidential election, blasted the two social media giants on Wednesday.
‘So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of ‘Smoking Gun’ emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost,’ Trump posted on Twitter.
Sen. Lindsey Graham complained by pointing to information that was available in 2016 without being blocked. ‘The Steele dossier was all over the place, they never blocked that, all the allegations about Russian collusion and Trump and every other idea that Trump may have done something bad, nobody blocked that,’ he said.