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Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) Changes Hacked Materials Policy After Backlash Over Hunter Biden Story

Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) is reportedly changing the Hacked Materials Policy following backlash for blocking a story in the New York Post about Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The company now says that it will not block hacked content unless shared directly by the hackers or those acting in collaborating with them.

Twitter changes Hacked Material Policy

The company said that the New York Post’s controversial story had materials from Hunter Biden’s private emails. The Post articles had links that claimed to show that Hunter had introduced Biden to an executive of Ukrainian-based energy company Burisma. However, the story has been questioned by different fact-checking organizations regarding its accuracy.

Twitter indicated that the story violated the Hacked Materials Policy, which doesn’t allow posting content hosted on other sites. In a tweet, Twitter Safety said that they are not incentivizing hacking by letting the platform to be used as a channel for distributing illegally obtained content.

However, the company is changing the policy as its social network policy chief Vijaya Gadde indicated that they were enforcing changes. In a Twitter thread, she said that the social media platform will only remove directly shared content that is hacked if the hackers share it or those working in concert with them. The company will instead label the post in context rather than blocking them. The updated policy is expected to start working in the coming days.

Personal information not permitted even with a new policy

Despite the policy change, Twitter spokesperson said that the Post story could still be blocked on Twitter since it contained personal information like email addresses.  However, if the personal details were done away with, they would allow the platform’s story. Brandon Borrman, the company’s communication head, said that they are after clarity, and the policy is not supposed to chill journalists or whistleblowers’ efforts.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, said that blocking the URLS was wide of the mark, and they updated the policy and enforcement to address the issue.

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