Twitter changes policy on content after questions about political censorship on Biden stories

Twitter said it was concerned that earlier policies on content were leading to unintended consequences.

Twitter logo on banner outside NYSE in 2013
Twitter logo on banner outside NYSE in 2013
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Updated: October 16, 2020 - 9:57am

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Twitter says it is changing the policy used to block the postings of a recent New York Post story about the overseas business deals of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

The influential social media platform blocking the posting of the article sparked widespread backlash from President Trump, his reelection campaign and others about perceived election interference.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was among several people or groups that had their Twitter account locked after attempting to post the article.

"So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @NYPost," Trump tweeted Wednesday. 

Late Thursday, Twitter said it was concerned that the earlier policy on such content was leading to unintended consequences, according to The New York Times

The platform had said it was blocked The Post story partly because its policy of not sharing what might be hacked material. But late Thursday, Vijaya Gadde, the head of Twitter’s legal department, said the policy was too sweeping and could result in the blocking of content from journalists and whistle-blowers, The Times also reported.

The Post story included emails that appeared to suggest that Hunter Biden used his connection with his then-vice president father to setup questionable deals and meetings in Ukraine. The emails purportedly came from a laptop and hard drive left at a Delaware computer repair shop.

Gadde also said the company would continue blocking links to or images from at least one of the articles if they contained email addresses and other private information, which violated the company’s privacy policy.

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