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Saturday, Jul 31, 2021

Scalise grills Dorsey about blocking NY Post article on Hunter Biden

Scalise grills Dorsey about blocking NY Post article on Hunter Biden

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., on Thursday pressed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the company's decision to block an October New York Post article about President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

Dorsey has repeatedly said that Twitter changed its "Hacked Materials Policy" blocking articles that base information on "hacked," or stolen, information after its decision to stop distribution of the Hunter Biden article and lock the Post's account drew significant outrage from readers, especially on the right.

"We made a total mistake with The New York Post. We corrected it within 24 hours," Dorsey said during the hearing in response to a question from Scalise about concerns from conservative users about a political bias on Twitter. "It was not to do with the content. It was to do with the Hacked Materials Policy."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

He added that Twitter "will make mistakes," and the company's "goal is to correct them as soon as possible."

Scalise then pointed out that while the company changed its Hacked Materials Policy in October to start labeling content that violates its rules rather than remove it altogether after the Post debacle, Twitter still locked the newspaper out of its account for weeks after the initial violation because it would not delete tweets that Twitter initially said violated its rules, prompting the lockout.

The Post refused to delete and repost the tweets, so Twitter manually "corrected it for them" in order to reinstate the account, Dorsey said.

Scalise added that Twitter was "acting as a publisher" in asking a newspaper to delete posts in order to regain access to its account. Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which both Democratic and Republican lawmakers say needs to be updated, states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

"It was literally just a process error," Dorsey said. "This was not against them in any particular way."

Dorsey testified alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday during a hearing on misinformation -- the first Big Tech hearing since the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.


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