Oct 30, 2020 - Technology

Twitter unlocks New York Post's account

Illustration of the twitter bird logo as an open padlock

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Twitter on Friday reinstated the New York Post's account after the social media platform faced backlash for limiting the circulation of the newspaper's reports about alleged Hunter Biden material earlier this month.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Ashley Gold: Twitter's latest move shows how fraught it is for social media companies to be making content moderation policy decisions on the fly just days before an election.

What they're saying: "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. One such example is the recent change to our Hacked Materials Policy and its impact on accounts like the New York Post," Twitter said in a tweet announcing the revised rule.

  • "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."
  • "This means that because a specific @nypost 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."

Context: The Post had been cut off from tweeting since Oct. 14 — the date it published the first in a series of stories based on the alleged Biden material.

  • Twitter said at the time that linking to those New York Post articles on Biden violated its rules against posting material with personal information and that which is obtained via hacking.
  • Twitter reversed course on Oct. 16 and permitted the Post's story to be linked in tweets. But the social media company insisted the paper delete its previous tweets, saying they violated Twitter's policy at the time they were posted.
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