Home U.S Twitter won't remove hacked content after outrage over blocking links to Biden-Ukraine...

Twitter won't remove hacked content after outrage over blocking links to Biden-Ukraine stories


Twitter will no longer block and remove hacked content and will instead label tweets after Republicans said they 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.

‘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.’

The move comes after Twitter blocked the accounts of Donald Trump’s campaign and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany after they shared stories about Biden Ukraine emails.

Tweets containing a link to the story posted by users and media outlets were also blocked.

Twitter will no longer remove hacked content and instead will label Tweets to provide context after Republicans threatened to subpoena CEO Jack Dorsey

Twitter will no longer remove hacked content and instead will label Tweets to provide context after Republicans threatened to subpoena CEO Jack Dorsey

The company's Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead announced the policy changes Thursday

The company’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead announced the policy changes Thursday

GOP senators fumed that users were unable to share information from the New York Post about Bidens and alleged secret emails

GOP senators fumed that users were unable to share information from the New York Post about Bidens and alleged secret emails

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.’

The links blocked by Twitter contained stories about emails between Hunter Biden and a Ukraine official who claimed he’d been introduced to Joe Biden. It also contained images of Hunter Biden.

The information was provided by Rudy Giuliani to the New York Post after a computer repair store owner said he’d found it on a hard drive.

The store owner said a man who he was unable to identify brough three computers into his store for repair last fall. He said he then made a copy of the emails and images on the hard drive, and provided it to the FBI and to Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer. 

The original stories, which also also contained business email addresses, purported to expose corrupt dealings by Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine. 

Twitter initially said the story violated policies on ‘hacked materials’ and on ‘personal and private information.’ 

‘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.’  

Twitter said the link 'may be unsafe' and could involve stolen personal information

Twitter said the link ‘may be unsafe’ and could involve stolen personal information

'Over the last 24 hours, we've received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,' Twitter's Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, Vijaya Gadde, posted

‘Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,’ Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, Vijaya Gadde, posted

Gadde said they 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'

Gadde said they 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’

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

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

The New York Post’s story purported to expose corrupt dealings by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine.

The newspaper claimed that the elder Biden, 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 source for the information raised questions. 

The report also made claims about Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine which were contrary to the record.

After push to clamp down on misinformation, both Facebook and Twitter were quick to take action – which they said was out of caution over the article and its sourcing.

Dorsey apologized for not providing enough context about why they were clamping down but stood by blocking it, claiming the article contains ‘private information’ which breaches their policies.

‘We’ve recently added new product capabilities, such as labels to provide people with additional context,’ Gadde continued Thursday. ‘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.

Twitter's Jack Dorsey had previously apologized for not providing 'context' as to why the tweets were blocked, as Republicans threatened to subpoena him

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey had previously apologized for not providing ‘context’ as to why the tweets were blocked, as Republicans threatened to subpoena him

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. 

‘We have seen big tech, we’ve seen Twitter and Facebook actively interfering in this election in a way that has no precedent in the history of our country,’ fumed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Thursday, as the panel met for its fourth day of hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. 

Cruz, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said the the panel will vote Oct. 20 on issuing the subpoena, with a plan to haul Dorsey before its members Friday October 23, just days before Election Day.

Cruz said the Senate Judiciary Committee would vote next Tuesday to subpoena Dorsey to testify at the end of next week and ‘explain why Twitter is abusing their corporate power to silence the press.’

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.

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