Twitter explains why New York Post story on Hunter Biden was blocked

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Hours after blocking the sharing of a New York Post article in tweets and direct messages, sparking an outcry from many, Twitter Inc. explained the reasoning on Wednesday evening, saying the main problem was the pictures in the article – not the article itself.

Facebook Inc. has also blocked sharing of the New York Post story, citing its policy of slowing the spread of potential false information.

The Post article made unconfirmed allegations of influence peddling by Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, with a Ukrainian energy company. The story was based on alleged emails from Hunter Biden that were retrieved from a laptop that was reportedly dumped at a repair facility and then allegedly provided to President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani , who handed them over to the Post.

Skeptics noted that the Ukrainian energy company in question, Burisma, had been previously hacked by the Russian military and feared that the emails on which the Post’s article was based may have been the result of a Russian disinformation effort. U.S. intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that Russia is once again attempting to influence U.S. elections, and news agencies and social media companies have implemented new policies on how to deal with pirated material and unconfirmed leaks following Russian interference in the 2016 election.

For more details: Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson on the defensive over Biden and Ukraine investigation following intelligence assessment of ongoing interference in Russian elections

As well: Mitt Romney says Republican Senate colleague Ron Johnson’s investigation of Biden’s son is not a legitimate government office

Earlier today, Twitter TWTR,
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said the Post’s report violated its policy on pirated material. Twitter users who attempted to paste the article’s URL into a tweet instead saw a message that read, “We cannot respond to this request as this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as potentially dangerous “.

The blockade sparked howls of outrage from President Donald Trump and his allies and supporters, who claimed the Post article was censored.

“Twitter has apparently decided to preemptively censor this report”, Senator Ted Cruz said in a letter to Dorsey that he tweeted. “Twitter isn’t just banning users from sharing this story on their own accounts, it bans the New York Post itself from posting its own content.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted late Wednesday that the company’s communications about what was going on were “not great” and that blocking URLs without explaining why was “unacceptable.”

In a series of tweets, Twitter provided a more detailed explanation of why the story was blocked, saying that in addition to violating its policy on pirated material, “the images in the articles include personal information and private, such as email addresses and phone numbers. – which violate our rules.

The Post article included photos of the alleged emails, including the email addresses.

“Comments or discussions of pirated documents, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the documents themselves, do not violate this policy,” Twitter said. “Our policy only covers the links or images of pirated material themselves.

“We know we still have work to do to clarify our product when we apply our rules in this way. We need to provide additional clarity and context when preventing the tweet or DM of URLs that violate our policies.

Facebook FB,
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Director of Political Communications Andy Stone said blocking the Post link was “part of our standard process to reduce the spread of disinformation.

See: Facebook and Twitter suspend Russian ‘troll factory’ ahead of election

“I want to be clear that this story is eligible for verification by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform, ”he said.

MarketWatch and the New York Post are both owned by News Corp NWS,
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