Twitter has reinstated the New York Post’s account, which was suspended 16 days ago after the paper shared a dubiously sourced article about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.
“We’re updating our practice of not retroactively overturning prior enforcement. Decisions made under policies that are subsequently changed & published can now be appealed if the account at issue is a driver of that change. We believe this is fair and appropriate,” the Twitter Safety account said on Friday. “This means that because a specific @nypost enforcement led us to update the Hacked Materials Policy, we will no longer restrict their account under the terms of the previous policy and they can now Tweet again.”
The decision to unlock the Post’s account comes two days after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday the Post would have to delete its previous tweet before the account would become unlocked.
The Post’s account was first locked on Oct. 14 after it tweeted a story based on dubiously sourced documents, provided by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, that accused Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, of involvement in corrupt business dealings in Ukraine and China.
Citing its rules against the sharing of hacked materials, Twitter quickly prevented users from tweeting out a link to the story and even locked prominent accounts — including the personal account of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany — that shared the article.
Twitter’s decision to block users from sharing the article led multiple prominent Republicans to accuse the company of “censorship.” Dorsey ultimately apologized for what he said was Twitter’s “unacceptable” job of explaining why it decided to block the story. And on Oct. 16, the policy was changed so that moving forward, Twitter would not “remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.”
Amid the backlash to Twitter’s reaction to the story, The Post’s story itself was quickly called into question as other outlets began to investigate its claims. For instance, NBC reported that Giuliani and other people associated with Trump refused to cooperate when the network attempted to examine the documents and emails cited in the Post story. The New York Times, Vice and other publications pointed out that numerous elements of the story didn’t add up. And both the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, two media outlets that were allowed to examine the documents, said that the documents did not support the accusations against Joe Biden.
And on Oct. 29, NBC reported that key elements of the accusations against Hunter and Joe Biden appear to have been created and distributed by a fabricated persona using a photo “created with an artificial intelligence face generator,” who claimed to represent a nonexistent “intelligence firm.”
NewsCorp, the parent company of the NY Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, celebrated the decision to lift the Post’s suspension, calling it “an important moment for journalism and for the freedom of the press” in a statement released later on Friday.
The Post also made its first tweet an image of its latest cover with the headline “Free Bird!”
— New York Post (@nypost) October 30, 2020