Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted Wednesday evening that his platform’s handling of a New York Post article about the Bidens and Burisma “was not great,” after Twitter began blocking users from sharing the article and locking the accounts of those that did.
“Our communication around our actions on the@nypost article was not great,” Dorsey stated. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
Dorsey’s announcement came as Twitter Support posted a thread trying to explain why it had been blocking users from sharing the Post article. “The images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules,” Twitter explained.
That explanation differed from the statement Twitter initially provided, which suggested the article was censored because it contained “hacked material.”
Twitter did repeat that “we also currently view materials included in the articles as violations of our Hacked Materials Policy,” but added that only direct “links or images” to the article were in violation of the policy.
“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,” Twitter concluded.
The Post’s article called into question Joe Biden’s repeated claims from to have never involved in his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine. The report relied on on an alleged email between Hunter Biden and Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskiy, in which the two discussed a meeting with the then-vice president in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskiy wrote to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
The Post reported that it received the email from a hard drive given to them by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, who in turn received the drive from a Delaware computer shop owner that had copied the drive from a laptop that was dropped off to be repaired but was never picked. The Daily Beast subsequently released audio of a 52-minute interview with the alleged computer shop owner in question, who said he could not see whether it was Hunter Biden who dropped off the laptop at the time due to a medical condition, but said the person in question had said his name was “Hunter Biden.”
In a Thursday afternoon statement, the Biden campaign said that the Post “never asked . . . about the critical elements of this story,” and that a review of “Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time” show that “no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.” But the campaign did not dispute the veracity of the emails, and a later story published by Politico reported that “Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility” of “some kind of informal interaction” between the two.
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