Thursday , October 22 2020

Twitter pulls back on key policy

Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. is changing its Hacked Materials Policy, walking back a set of rules at the heart of its enforcement action against a controversial article that included potentially damaging allegations against US presidential candidate Joe Biden.
In a series of tweets, policy chief Vijaya Gadde said the firm will no longer remove hacked content “unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.” Instead, it “will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”
Twitter found itself at the center of a political firestorm after both it and Facebook took measures to suppress sharing of a New York Post article that alleged Biden had improper connections to an executive at a Ukrainian energy firm. Twitter has taken a more aggressive approach in policing President Trump’s use of the service this year, earning it accusations from US Republicans of stifling conservative speech and trying to assist Biden’s campaign.
Twitter, like Facebook, has at times struggled to consistently enforce its policies, and both have updated their rules around important issues like voting and health-related misinformation in the run-up to the November US presidential election.

At one point, the hashtag #TwitterCensorship was trending on the service.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and GOP Senator Ted Cruz told reporters Thursday morning that they will vote next Tuesday to subpoena Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey to appear before the committee to answer questions about its policies.
Twitter, like Facebook, has at times struggled to consistently enforce its policies, and both have updated their rules around important issues like voting and health-related misinformation in the run-up to the November US presidential election.
Facebook said it was diminishing the Post story’s reach while it was fact-checked. Twitter blocked some people from sharing links to the story, and those who clicked on links that were shared were blocked from visiting the New York Post website.
A Twitter spokesman said the Post story would still be blocked on the platform despite the new policy because it contained people’s personal information, such as email addresses. A version of the story without those personal details, though, would be allowed.
Dorsey said that Twitter’s “straight blocking of URLs was wrong. Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.” When the Post’s story appeared on Wednesday, Twitter put a warning on any post that included a link to the article that said “this link may be unsafe.” Twitter said the move was in line with its “Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to, or images of, the material in question on Twitter.”

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