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Twitter unfreezes NY Post’s account after Republican backlash

  • October 31, 2020

Twitter has lifted a freeze on the New York Post newspaper’s account, the United States-based social media company said on Friday, after a backlash from legislators.

The company said it had changed its policy on hacked materials and the Post could once again send tweets from its account.

The social media platform had blocked the newspaper’s account on October 14 after it published articles about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, which Twitter said violated its hacked materials policy.

“We’re baaaaaaack,” the newspaper tweeted after its account was restored.

Earlier this week, Twitter’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey drew fire from Republican lawmakers, who accused the company of selective censorship against conservatives.

Dorsey was among a group of social media company executives who were grilled by legislators over their handling of content in the lead-up to the November 3 US presidential elections, which pit President Donald Trump against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

The heads of Twitter, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc testified virtually during a hearing on Wednesday on whether to repeal a section of the Communications Decency Act that shields companies from liability over content posted on their platforms.

Republican leaders, including Trump himself, have accused the platforms of anti-conservative bias after Twitter and Facebook blocked a link to a New York Post story based on unverified emails about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Twitter was wrong to block weblinks to an unverified political story, Dorsey said on October 16 as he responded to criticism over a decision to block links to the Biden story on its platform.

“Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix,” Dorsey tweeted. “Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.”

Despite the changes, Republican lawmakers have slammed Twitter for its handling of the Biden story, with Senator Ted Cruz saying during Wednesday’s hearing that the company’s “conduct has by far been the most egregious”.

“Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Cruz asked.

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