In a spectacular, and humiliating, reversal for Twitter which two days ago sparked an unprecedented scandal with its blatant pro-Democrat censorship and dissemination ban of the “bombshell” NY Post article confirming Joe Biden’s connections to both Ukraine and China, Twitter said it would no longer block the NY Post story about Hunter Biden.
After the NYT first reported late on Friday that Twitter “began letting users share links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Hunter Biden that it had previously blocked from its service”, a spokesperson for the online publisher which wishes to retain its Section 230 protections to avoid being sued into oblivion overnight, confirmed to The Hill that users can now share links to the article in tweets and direct messages because “the once private information included is now widely available in the press and on other digital platforms.”
The decision caps a three-day whirlwind for the company, which definitively exposed to the entire world the political bias of both Twitter and Youtbe.
After initially blocking users – and in countless cases suspending and banning accounts, even those belonging to administration officials – a smattering of GOP lawmakers sent letters to Twitter and Facebook demanding and explanation; Sen. Ted Cruz said earlier that he would be happy to subpoena Mark Zuckerberg over what Cruz described as “transparent election interference” by America’s largest social media titans. Late on Friday, the Senate Commerce Committee issued subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jack Dorsey to appear virtually on Oct. 28 to discuss the reformation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects them from liability.
Earlier in the week, Jack Dorsey offered a non-apology apology by saying he regretted the breakdown in communication as Twitter moved to suppress the story and punish those sharing it without offering any kind of explanation. This was followed on Thursday night by a statement from the company’s top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, who said that Twitter will no longer remove hacked content unless the content has been “directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.” And said the company will “label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”
Then on Friday morning, the CEO returned with another more thorough apology, where he acknowledged that the company was “wrong” to ‘straight up block the url’ or urls associated with the sensitive NY Post stories.
Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix. Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that. https://t.co/ZLUw3YD887
— jack (@jack) October 16, 2020
And now, after unleashing an unprecedented censorship scandal by the social networks, Twitter has made a 180 and effectively admits that everything it did was wrong.
Even the Joe Biden-endorsing NY Times wrote that “the rapid-fire changes have made Twitter and Facebook the butt of jokes and invigorated efforts to regulate them.”
“Policies are a guide for action, but the platforms are not standing behind their policies,” said Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “They are merely reacting to public pressure and therefore will be susceptible to politician influence for some time to come.”
The irony, of course, is that thanks to Twitter’s catastrophic bumbling of “Huntergate“, everyone in the US now knows about Hunter Biden’s notebook and by implication, Joe Biden’s heretofore covert involvement. And while one would think that someone as sophisticated in manipulating and shaping public opinion as Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg would know all about the Streisand Effect, one would be wrong.