Twitter Inc. will change its hacked materials policy after causing an uproar Wednesday by blocking an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Hunter Biden.
That caused a cry of outrage from conservatives, who claimed Twitter TWTR, +0.10% was biased and censoring the article.
In a series of tweets Thursday night, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s global lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety, said: “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.”
The two major changes will be:
— Twitter will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or by those working with hackers.
— Twitter will label tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared.
“We believe that labeling tweets and empowering people to assess content for themselves better serves the public interest and public conversation,” Gadde said. “All the other Twitter rules will still apply to the posting of or linking to hacked materials, such as our rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media, and non-consensual nudity.”
On Wednesday, Twitter said the Post article had been blocked because it included images of personal email addresses, in violation of its hacked materials policy.
Despite the rule changes, the Post article will apparently remain blocked, since it still displays images containing private information.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted late Wednesday that “Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
Earlier Thursday night, Twitter was hit by a roughly 90-minute outage that prevented users from tweeting. Service was restored by about 8 p.m. Eastern. “We have no evidence of a security breach or hack, and we’re currently investigating internal causes,” a Twitter spokesperson said.