Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated on Tuesday that the decision to censor the New York Post and its news stories on Hunter Biden, son of Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden was “wrong.”
Dorsey appeared virtually on Capitol Hill to testify over Twitter’s enforcement actions and censoring of the news outlet, as well as other issues related to social media censorship. The CEO was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee over his company’s decision to censor stories from a presidential nominee’s son weeks away from an election.
“We were called here today because of an enforcement decision we made against the New York Post based on a policy we created in 2018 to prevent Twitter from being used to spread hacked materials. This resulted in us blocking people from sharing a New York Post article publicly or privately,” Dorsey said. “We made a quick interpretation using no other evidence that the materials in the article were obtained through hacking, and according to our policy, we blocked them from being spread. Upon further consideration, we admitted this action was wrong and corrected it within 24 hours.”
The New York Post’s Twitter account was locked on October 14 for posting a story covering Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, which were retrieved from Biden’s alleged laptop which had been dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop and not retrieved.
Despite no evidence that materials sourced in the story were obtained through hacking, Twitter flagged the story under its policy against “hacked materials.”
Twitter censored the publication, preventing users from tweeting or even direct messaging the URL of the Hunter Biden story. The social media company also took to locking, and even suspending accounts that shared the article. Dorsey later admitted that the actions taken by the company were “not great.” Twitter refused to unlock the New York Post’s account for weeks after the decision to censor them.
“We informed the New York Post of our error and policy update, and how to unlock their account by deleting the original, violating tweet, which freed them to tweet the exact same content and news article again,” Dorsey stated. “They chose not to, instead insisting we reverse our enforcement action. We did not have a practice around retroactively overturning prior enforcements. This incident demonstrated that we needed one, and so we created one we believe is fair and appropriate.”
Despite the censorship of the Post’s article, the piece became a hit, with its visibility almost doubling due to the controversy surrounding it.