Twitter loosens policy posts of hacked material for the sake of journalism

Twitter is loosening its policy on posting and linking to hacked materials following recent feedback. Where previously it was completely banned, it is now only banned if shared directly by hackers or their henchmen.

The change was prompted by the massive removal of tweets with a link to a news article in which leaked emails, video images and photos of the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden were shown and discussed. Tweets linking to this article were blocked without any text or explanation.

Shortly afterwards, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, announced that the policy is being adjusted. She argues that under the old policy the balance between privacy and freedom of expression was not in order. The disadvantages of this would be too great for journalists and whistleblowers, for example. Also Twitter foreman Jack Dorsey condemns blocking the url.

It is striking that the tweets with links to the article in question are now no longer blocked, despite the fact that another Twitter employee states that article linking is still a violation of personal information without consent.

Twitter now intends to footnote such tweets instead of a block in such contexts. These should provide context to the link that users post, so that they have more tools for themselves to make a better estimate.