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Twitter Revises Hacked Documents Policy After N.Y. Post Dispute

Twitter Inc. is revising its Hacked Materials Policy, which lay at the heart of its enforcement action this week against a controversial New York Post article that included potentially damaging allegations against U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden.

In a series of tweets, policy chief Vijaya Gadde said that the company 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.” Gadde said the updated policy will be put in place in the coming days.

A Twitter spokesman said the N.Y. Post story would still be blocked on the platform because the documents contain people’s personal information, such as email addresses. A version of the story without that personal info, though, would be allowed.

@vijaya

Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received significant feedback (from critical to supportive) about how we enforced our Hacked Materials Policy yesterday. After reflecting on this feedback, we have decided to make changes to the policy and how we enforce it.4:06 AM · Oct 16, 2020

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Twitter found itself at center of a political storm this week after both it and Facebook Inc. took measures to suppress the sharing of an article that alleged Joe Biden had improper connections to an executive at a Ukrainian energy firm. Part of the company’s justification for the action was its Hacked Materials Policy, which it is now revising in the wake of what Gadde said was significant feedback.

Read more: Facebook, Twitter CEOs Sought by Senate Over N.Y. Post Story

U.S. Senate Republicans were swift to act, calling for the chief executive officers of the country’s two most influential social networks to answer questions from lawmakers about their moderation policies. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and GOP Senator Ted Cruz told reporters Thursday morning that they will vote next Tuesday to subpoena Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to appear before the committee.

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