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Twitter changes policy, unlocks New York Post account after standoff

Twitter changes policy, unlocks New York Post account after standoff
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The New York Post's Twitter account has been unlocked following a bitter standoff over the outlet's move to share an article about Hunter Biden, with the platform saying late Friday it would unlock the account after recently changing its hacked materials policy.

The company’s safety account tweeted that it would end its previous practice of “not retroactively overturning prior enforcement,” meaning that “decisions made under policies that are subsequently changed & published can now be appealed if the account at issue is a driver of that change.” 

The tech company added that because of the previous change to the hacked materials policy, the Post’s account will no longer be locked. 

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“Our policies are living documents. We're willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public,” Twitter wrote in one of its tweets Friday. 

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The Post responded to the reversal Friday night, tweeting“We’re baaaaaaack,” along with an image of the outlet’s newest front page highlighting the change. 

The ban on the Post followed scrutiny over sourcing in the news outlet’s story earlier this month on Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s son, Hunter Biden. Among the story’s claims were that Hunter Biden set up a meeting between his father and an executive of a Ukrainian gas company he was involved in while Joe Biden was serving as vice president.

In mid-October, Twitter announced it was changing its hacked materials policy, with its head of policy Vijay Gadde tweeting at the time that the platform "will no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them" and “will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”

However, the Post's account remained locked, with the company insisting that the Post must delete its original tweet sharing the Hunter Biden story before it could be unlocked. The company said that once its account was active again the Post could reshare the original article without issue.

On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got into a heated exchange with lawmakers during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing over the company's decision to limit the spread of the Post report when it came out earlier this month. Biden's campaign has disputed the report.

In addition to locking the Post's account, Twitter also initially blocked users from tweeting links to the article, citing Twitter's hacked material policy, before the company later amended it.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' MORE (R-Texas) blasted Twitter's actions in Wednesday's hearing, reiterating conservative claims of a bias at the company in how it regulates content on the platform. 

“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 to the contrary of your political beliefs?” Cruz asked the CEO.

“We’re not doing that,” Dorsey responded. “This is why I opened this hearing with calls for more transparency. We realized we need to earn trust more, we realized that more accountability is needed to show our intentions and to show the outcomes. So I hear the concerns and acknowledge them, but we want to fix it with more transparency.”

Dorsey emphasized that under the company's amended policy the Post would be able to share its article if it first deleted its initial tweet.