- US Congress had hearing on Article 230, which exempted tech companies from lawsuits.
- US senator accused Twitter of conducting media censorship at congressional hearing.
- Now that the blockade is lifted, the New York Post can tweet again.
After a stalemate for more than two weeks, Twitter said on Friday that in view of the policy change, it had unblocked the Twitter account of the daily newspaper “New York Post”. Earlier, after the newspaper published an unconfirmed report about Hunter Biden, Twitter blocked the newspaper’s Twitter account.
Hunter is the son of the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The “New York Post” reported the so-called “scandal” of Hunter in Ukraine.
The New York Post report is based on leaked material allegedly from Hunter’s old computer. During Biden’s tenure as Vice President of the United States, Hunter joined the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
According to the report, an email found on the hard drive of Hunter’s old computer showed that Hunter introduced his father Biden to a consultant of Brisma in 2015. Biden claimed that he had never communicated with his son about his overseas business.
Twitter ban angers Republicans
The New York Post report has not been confirmed by other media, and many people have expressed doubts about the source of the report. Biden said this was deliberately discrediting him.
At first, Twitter prohibited users from retweeting posts about Hunter’s articles, claiming that it violated Twitter’s policy on hacking content.
On October 14, the Twitter account of the New York Post was also temporarily blocked. However, the stance of Twitter president Jack Dorsey appeared to have changed afterwards, and he posted a post saying that “the direct blocking of the website is wrong.” Twitter also said that it has revised its related policies involving hackers, but will continue to block the report about Biden.
However, the obvious suppression of this article caused anger among pro-Trump Republicans. Facing the upcoming US election on November 3, Republican Senator Ted Cruz criticized it as “interfering in the election.”
On Wednesday, the US Senate held a hearing to discuss the revision of Article 230 of the Communications Regulation Act. Jack Dorsey, Google President Sundar Pichai, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg all attended the meeting in the form of video. At the meeting, the senators accused the bosses of these technology companies of conducting media censorship.
“Mr. Dorsey, 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? And why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC, silencing views contrary to your political beliefs?” Cruz said.
“I hear the concerns and acknowledge them,” Dorsey replied.
Zuckerberg said Congress “should update the law to make sure it’s working as intended,” adding, “We don’t think tech companies should be making so many decisions about these important issues alone.”
On Friday two days later, Twitter unblocked the New York Post account, saying that:
“Our policies are living documents,” the company said in a tweet. “We’re willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public. One such example is the recent change to our Hacked Materials Policy and its impact on accounts like the New York Post.”
There are only a handful of days before the election, and the United States is filled with tension. Who will win the general election on Tuesday (November 3)? Currently, Democrat Biden leads incumbent President Trump in the polls.