Twitter announced that it would change its policy on hacked content. This came after complaints on how it handled misinformed and unverified political stories.
The social media company announced on a thread that it will no longer remove hacked material unless it’s directly shared by hackers or those working with them. Instead of blocking links from being shared, tweets will be labeled to provide context.
“We want to address the concerns that there could be many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation,” the company’s head of legal policy Vijaya Gadde said. She also added that when the hacked materials policy was first introduced, in 2018, Twitter had fewer tools for policy enforcement than it does now, saying: “We’ve recently added new product capabilities, such as labels to provide people with additional context. We are no longer limited to Tweet removal as an enforcement action.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that it was “unacceptable” the company hadn’t provided more context around its action.
Twitter had moved to limit the spread of the story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post which reported on claims that laptop hardware left at a repair shop contained emails and other data belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story has not been confirmed by other publications. The company said the link to the New York Post story will still be blocked under a policy prohibiting sharing personal information. However, users were widely sharing the story on Friday and it wasn’t clear why they were able to do so.