Twitter backtracks, allows users to post previously blocked NY Post article

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2020

Twitter on Wednesday started blocking the link, citing a policy forbidding users from sharing another person's personal information without their consent, and a separate policy forbidding the sharing of hacked documents.

Twitter no longer restricting people from sharing links to a controversial New York Post story that contains potentially damaging allegations about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The unidentified shop owner reportedly told the newspaper he copied the hard drive and gave the machine to federal authorities after the computer seemed to have been forgotten.

US President Donald Trump and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, voiced concerns of censorship on social media and called for the repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which protects internet platforms from legal liability for third-party content, treating them as distributors rather than publishers of information. He tweeted that the platform was restricting the spread of the New York Post's story until the platform's fact-checkers could stamp their own judgment on the material. It's now been revealed that Steve Bannon boasted about holding the material back in September, and the FBI is investigating whether it's a Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign.

The company's policy chief Vijaya Gadde said Thursday night that Twitter had decided to make changes to its hacked materials policy following feedback, but a spokesman told Reuters that the New York Post story would still be blocked for "violating the rules on private personal information".

When Twitter previously changed its hacked materials policy in response to the criticism, The Washington Post had already dubbed this a "stunning policy reversal".

But Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey tweeted that it was unacceptable that the company had not provided more context to users for its action.

"Our goal is to try to add context, and now we have the capacity to do it", he tweeted here. However, it didn't ready clients regarding why they couldn't share the connection until some other time. A little over 24 hours later, Gadde announced the company was making changes after receiving significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how it enforced the policy.

Twitter also said that despite the new policy, the New York Post story would still be stuck.

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