Twitter has again altered its “hacked materials” policy, reversing a decision to lock the New York Post out of its account over tweets promoting a controversial report about the business dealings of the Biden family.
The company said on Friday that it would overturn a prior move to lock the Post out of its handle, dropping its demand that the newspaper remove the offending tweet while calling the decision “fair and appropriate.”
In response, we’re updating our practice of not retroactively overturning prior enforcement.
Decisions made under policies that are subsequently changed & published can now be appealed if the account at issue is a driver of that change. We believe this is fair and appropriate.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 30, 2020
“Our policies are living documents. We’re willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public,” the company said in a series of tweets. “One such example is the recent change to our Hacked Materials Policy and its impact on accounts like the New York Post.”
This means that because a specific [New York Post] enforcement led us to update the Hacked Materials Policy, we will no longer restrict their account under the terms of the previous policy and they can now Tweet again.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 30, 2020
While Twitter had already updated its policies on “hacked materials” and scrapped an outright ban on the Post story – allegedly sourced from Hunter Biden’s laptop – the newspaper remained locked out of its account for some two weeks.
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In testimony to the Senate earlier this week, company CEO Jack Dorsey said the Post could have its handle back only after it removed the tweet, even noting it could immediately repost the same article without facing another ban, what the paper condemned as an attempt at “blackmail.”
“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sounded like every mob enforcer and shakedown artist in history: Nice paper you got there, New York Post. Shame, should something happen to it,” the Post editorial board wrote in an article this week. “He knows full well media outlets depend on social media, and Google search algorithms, to help readers access our reporting.”
Go New York Post! https://t.co/RP1yshZrTG
— Dagen McDowell (@dagenmcdowell) October 29, 2020
The Post’s op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari said the paper refused to take down the tweet as a matter of “honor and principle,” arguing that Twitter “had – and still has – zero evidence we used hacked material,” responding to CNN’s Jake Tapper after he suggested it delete the missive as “a way to end this.”
“[Jake Tapper], as a reporter, why don’t you show an iota of solidarity with America’s oldest daily?” Ahmari shot back.
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