Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted on Wednesday that the company did an “unacceptable” job of explaining why the platform started blocking users from sharing the link to a widely questioned and dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.
In a thread shared on the Twitter Safety account, Twitter said the story violated company rules because it contained images that featured “personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers” and contained material in violation of its hacked materials policy, which prohibits the distribution of content “obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets.”
“We know we have more work to do to provide clarity in our product when we enforce our rules in this manner. We should provide additional clarity and context when preventing the Tweeting or DMing of URLs that violate our policies,” the company also tweeted. “We recognize that Twitter is just one of many places where people can find information online, and the Twitter Rules are intended to protect the conversation on our service, and to add context to people’s experience where we can.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Twitter said it would be blocking users from sharing the URL to the Post story, which it described as “potentially harmful” and in violation of the company’s hacked materials policy. The company also locked the Post’s account, as well as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s personal account, for sharing the story, according to the Post. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, lashed out at Dorsey by tweeting “see you soon @jack” alongside a screen-recorded video of the @SenateGOP account being blocked from sharing the Post story.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The Post story in question, a murkily sourced claim that Hunter Biden introduced his father Joe to a Ukrainian energy businessman, shares several emails that the Post said it obtained from the hard drive of a computer that was dropped off at a repair shop in Delaware last year, attributed to the shop owner who claims he made a copy and gave it to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The Post story also makes the suggestion that the meeting between Joe Biden and the Ukrainian businessman was linked to Biden’s pressuring of government officials to fire the prosecutor looking into the company, Burisma, but multiple investigations from both Republicans and Democrats did not find evidence that Biden acted out of line with official U.S. policy.
The Biden campaign has also denied that any meeting took place between Joe Biden and the Ukrainian businessman and questioned Giuliani’s role in the story.
“The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story,” Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden, told Politico. “They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani — whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported — claimed to have such materials. Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”
— jack (@jack) October 14, 2020