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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser expected to plead guilty in a foreign lobbying case, is challenging Twitter over its handling of content related to "hacked materials."

What's happening: Broidy wants Twitter to explain why information from hacked and leaked materials about his case was allowed to remain on the site, while Twitter took swift action to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden allegedly based on hacked and released materials, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Our thought bubble: The letter shows that Twitter's move against the New York Post will likely open an endless range of new challenges and questions about how it enforces its policies.

Catch up quick: Twitter late Thursday said it was revising its "hacked materials" policy in response to the uproar over its ban on the New York Post story.

  • The tech giant said it would no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them and it will label tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.

Details: The letter, sent from Broidy's lawyer to Twitter's head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde, asks Twitter to "take immediate action to ensure that Twitter’s policies are enforced fairly."

  • "Twitter’s policy against allowing the dissemination of private information and trade secrets dates back to at least 2018, and yet, thousands of links remain on Twitter to stories that contain or link to Mr. Broidy’s hacked materials, including those that reveal emails, email addresses, private information and business trade secrets," it reads.

Between the lines: Broidy is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

  • He was accused in a criminal information document of leveraging his "access to and perceived influence" with President Trump and the administration to lobby the Justice Department to drop an investigation into the massive Malaysian embezzlement scheme 1MDB.

The big picture: Broidy's lawyer argues Twitter's actions are particularly egregious because The Post's sourcing is more transparent than the sourcing provided by other news outlets when reporting on leaked materials.

  • Specifically, he alleges that the materials obtained by The New York Times, the AP and others had "intentionally obscured that they had received non-authenticatable PDFs of hacked materials from American mercenaries sponsored by a notorious state sponsor of terrorism," referring to Qatar.
  • Broidy has sought lucrative business opportunities in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which view Qatar as a regional foe. He has sued the government of Qatar and American agents over the alleged hacking conspiracy, which the Gulf monarchy denies.
  • Broidy's legal team did not respond to a request for comment.

The bottom line: Twitter's New York Post saga shows that tech platforms face an uphill battle in trying to control hack and leak campaigns without being accused of bias.

Read the full letter.

Go deeper

Acting DHS chief calls on Twitter to "commit to never" censoring content

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, calling on him to "commit to never again censoring content" on the platform.

Driving the news: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said on Thursday the platform locked his account and removed a tweet about the effectiveness of the border wall.

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Twitter labels tweet from RT implying voter fraud in U.S. elections

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter on Thursday labeled a tweet from Russian state media outlet RT (formerly Russia Today) that included a video implying widespread voter fraud is plaguing, and potentially delegitimizing, the U.S. election.

Why it matters: It's the first time Twitter has labeled RT's account with a civic integrity label, or a designation used to highlight efforts to manipulate or interfere in elections or other civic processes.

2 hours ago - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.