Wednesday, 27 April 2022 09:22

Musk says Twitter block of Hunter Biden story was wrong Featured

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Musk says Twitter block of Hunter Biden story was wrong Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, has given an indication as to how he would run the company, tweeting out that the suspension of the New York Post's Twitter account in 2020 over a story about Hunter Biden was "obviously incredibly inappropriate".

Musk sent the tweet in response to one from Saagar Enjeti, co-host of the Breaking Points podcast, in which the latter pointed to an article about the reaction of Twitter's top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, to the Musk takeover.

The Post article, about emails found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, was published in October 2020. Twitter refused to allow the article to be posted and blocked anyone who tried to do so.

Facebook also reacted to the story by saying it would limit its distribution until it could verify the source material. To date, Facebook has not informed anyone about the result of its investigations into the emails.

Shortly thereafter, Twitter was forced to change its policy on hacked materials due to a backlash.

Enjeti said in his tweet: "Vijaya Gadde, the top censorship advocate at Twitter who famously gaslit the world on Joe Rogan's podcast and censored the Hunter Biden laptop story, is very upset about the @elonmuks takeover."

campbell tweet

He linked to a story in Business Insider headlined Twitter’s top lawyer reassures staff, cries during meeting about Musk takeover.

In it, the authors pointed out that Gadde had advocated strongly for ensuring that Twitter’s policies protected its most vulnerable users while protecting free expression — a position that is at odds with Musk’s.

Campbell Connor, an engineer at Twitter, replied to Musk's tweet, saying: "That's not what happened. Twitter had a policy about hacked documents. We applied this policy equally. The merits of that policy are debatable, but it wasn't targeted censorship."

He later deleted this tweet, leading Enjeti to comment: "Appears deleted now but to be fair appears Connor does actually want to stay at Twitter under Elon."

Twitter's policy on posting hacked materials was questioned in January this year when a group of attackers who claimed to have hacked the Belarus Railway posted proof of their exploit on the social media platform.

While mainstream media did not say much about the New York Post story at the time of publication, recently The New York Times and the Washington Post have both come out and acknowledged that the story was correct.

Musk's successful bid for Twitter has led to prophesies of doom from many people who claim that he will not be good for the platform.

Others have pointed out that nothing he could do would be worse than the type of censorship that the platform has indulged in under its former owners.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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