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16 Oct, 2020 02:54

Too little too late? Twitter announces ‘hacked materials’ policy update after Biden expose censorship fiasco

Too little too late? Twitter announces ‘hacked materials’ policy update after Biden expose censorship fiasco

Twitter has issued a mea culpa after using its “hacked materials” policy to bury a controversial story alleging shady backroom dealings by the Biden family, with the platform vowing to alter its rules and how it enforces them.

“Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday,” Twitter policy head Vijaya Gadde said in a tweet on Thursday night, adding that the company would change how it applies the rule and lift its blockade on the Biden story, published on Wednesday by the New York Post.

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.

Going forward, Gadde said Twitter would no longer remove “hacked content” unless it is “directly shared by hackers” or those working alongside them, and that instead of blocking links, it will now append them with labels to add “context” to tweets. She added the decision was made to address concerns that the original policy could have “many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation.”

Also on rt.com ‘Something went wrong’: Twitter suffers global outage amid ‘censorship’ scandal ahead of Trump & Biden town halls

Wednesday’s Post story made waves across the internet, prompting Twitter to invoke its rules on both “private information” and the “distribution of hacked material,” arguing the article disclosed personal details of Hunter Biden – the son of 2020 Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden – without his permission.

The move ignited a firestorm among conservatives, who insisted Twitter was only interested in burying a damaging story about the Democratic presidential pick. Thursday’s reversal has triggered an equal measure of outrage from across the political spectrum, with left-of-center critics arguing the company “caved” to “bullying” from the Republican Party.

Also on rt.com Twitter CENSORS THE GOVERNMENT, briefly blocking link to GOP page on CONGRESS website with copy of NYPost’s Hunter Biden story

Some netizens weighed in with mock ‘translations’ of Gadde’s announcement, one joking that Twitter scrambled to change its rules after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai indicated earlier on Thursday that he would “clarify” the law governing how platforms like Twitter and Facebook can moderate content – Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The policy update did not earn Twitter plaudits from those on the right, however, as some self-avowed conservatives insisted “slight adjustments” to the rules will not be enough after the company was “caught blatantly choosing sides.” 

Also on rt.com Caitlin Johnstone: Imagine if MSM consistently applied the evidentiary standards it’s applying to Hunter Biden’s emails

Other users complained that they were still blocked from sharing the Post story, suggesting the rule change hadn’t yet come into effect.

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