Twitter users who click on a link to a New York Post story involving Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, were redirected on Wednesday to a webpage labeling the hyperlink of the Post’s story as “unsafe.”
“Warning: this link may be unsafe,” reads the message from Twitter. “The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter’s URL Policy.”
Content that violates Twitter’s URL policy includes, “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm,” spammy links that mislead users, malicious links that could harm devices or steal information, and other categories of content that may violate other Twitter rules.
The story that Twitter branded unsafe includes an email published by the New York Post that casts doubt upon the Democratic presidential nominee’s repeated claims that he did not have knowledge of his son’s business dealings in places such as Ukraine, Russia, and China.
On Wednesday evening, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said his company bungled its handling of the New York Post’s story.
“Our communications around our actions on the @nypost article was not great,” Mr. Dorsey tweeted. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or [direct message] with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”
Mr. Dorsey also shared a tweet-thread from a company account, @TwitterSafety, which said images contained in the New York Post article contained personal and private information, which was actually what violated Twitter’s rules.
Prior to Twitter’s warning, Facebook intentionally limited the distribution of the New York Post story on its platform.
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want to be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners,” tweeted Andy Stone, Facebook spokesperson. “In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.”
Mr. Stone later tweeted that his company’s actions are not out of the norm for the way the Big Tech social media platform moderates content.