Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addressed the controversy surrounding actions the company took on Wednesday to block the spread of a New York Post article critical of Hunter Biden, calling them “unacceptable.”
“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great,” he tweeted. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
He was also asked by Dave Rubin on the same Twitter thread if the company shadow bans certain users in an attempt to stifle their online influence due to their political beliefs, and Dorsey only replied, “No.”
Twitter had issued a statement about the incident earlier in the day after Fox News reached out about the story.
The tech giant claimed it took action against the article due to the company’s “Hacked Materials Policy.” Twitter is blocking the post from being shared on its platform.
“In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter,” a spokesperson said.
Fox News attempted to send via direct message the article titled “Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad” to another user multiple times but was continually met with the same error message.
The article, which Fox News hasn’t independently verified yet, also claimed that the outlet had been given emails showing Hunter had introduced his father Joe to a top executive at the energy firm Burisma Holdings, less than a year before a top Ukranian prosecutor was forced out for looking into the matter.
On Wednesday afternoon, NY Post business reporter Noah Manskar said the outlet’s official Twitter account had been locked due to the Biden story being sourced from allegedly “hacked” information.
“The Post’s primary Twitter account (@nypost) has also been locked because the Hunter Biden stories violate its rules against ‘distribution of hacked material,’ per email we received from Twitter,” he wrote.
News of Dorsey’s comments come after Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking that it look into the censorship tactics employed by both Twitter and Facebook — which had also taken steps to limit the article’s reach while intimating that the story needed fact-checking.
He also suggested revoking the prosecutorial immunity enjoyed by big tech companies, after repeated complaints about their handling of political speech and their apparent disregard for the First Amendment.
“I write to express my concerns regarding Twitter and Facebook’s recent actions to censor a prominent American news outlet,” Buck began. “These actions violate the platform’s immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and threaten to chill free speech throughout our nation.”
He added, “As such, I urge the DOJ to open an investigation into Twitter and Facebook’s harmful actions to censor free speech and curtail Americans’ access to a free press. I also urge the DOJ to consider removing Section 230 immunity for social media platforms that engage in political content moderation.”