What We Know and Don’t About Hunter Biden and a Laptop

President Trump’s allies have promoted claims of corruption aimed at the former vice president’s son in an effort to damage the Biden campaign.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #burisma-holdings-ltd, #computers-and-the-internet, #delaware, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #laptop-computers, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rumors-and-misinformation, #trump-donald-j, #ukraine, #united-states-politics-and-government


Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report

In trying to insulate their platforms from the spread of dubious information, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have ignited a different kind of firestorm.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #facebook-inc, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #social-media, #twitter, #youtube-com


Facebook and Twitter Are Still Tinkering With Democracy

Social media companies are debuting strategies to prevent a repeat of the 2016 election. They may be backfiring.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #debatable, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates


Is the Trump Campaign Colluding With Russia Again?

Giuliani’s dirty tricks are the scandal, not Hunter Biden’s hard drive.

#biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government


New York Post Published Hunter Biden Report Amid Newsroom Doubts

Some reporters withheld their bylines and questioned the credibility of an article that made the tabloid’s front page on Wednesday.

#bannon-stephen-k, #biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #burisma-holdings-ltd, #col-allan, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #murdoch-lachlan, #murdoch-rupert, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #presidential-election-of-2020


Where Liberal Power Lies

And why conservatives fear the creep of authoritarianism, too.

#ahmari-sohrab, #conservatism-us-politics, #dorsey-jack, #facebook-inc, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #new-york-post, #presidential-election-of-2020, #social-media, #trump-donald-j, #twitter, #united-states-politics-and-government, #zuckerberg-mark-e


Twitter abruptly changes hacked-materials policy after blocking Biden story

A computer keyboard with the word

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)

Twitter has changed its policy on sharing hacked materials after facing criticism of its decision to block users from tweeting links to a New York Post article that contained Hunter Biden emails allegedly retrieved from a computer left at a repair shop.

On Wednesday, Twitter said it blocked links to the Post story because it included private information and violated Twitter’s hacked materials policy, which prohibits sharing links to or images of hacked content. But on late Thursday night, Twitter legal executive Vijaya Gadde wrote in a thread that the company has “decided to make changes to the [hacked materials] policy and how we enforce it” after receiving “significant feedback.”

Twitter enacted the policy in 2018 “to discourage and mitigate harms associated with hacks and unauthorized exposure of private information,” Gadde wrote. “We tried to find the right balance between people’s privacy and the right of free expression, but we can do better.” Twitter will thus change its hacked materials policy to “no longer remove hacked content unless it is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.” Twitter will also “label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter.”

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#hunter-biden, #new-york-post, #policy, #twitter


Twitter changes its hacked materials policy in wake of New York Post controversy

Twitter has announced an update to its hacked materials policy — saying it will no longer remove hacked content unless it’s directly shared by hackers or those “acting in concert with them”.

Instead of blocking such content/links from being shared on its service it says it will label tweets to “provide context”.

Wider Twitter rules against posting private information, synthetic and manipulated media, and non-consensual nudity all still apply — so it could still, for example, remove links to hacked material if the content being linked to violates other policies. But just tweeting a link to hacked materials isn’t an automatic takedown anymore.

The move comes hard on the heels of the company’s decision to restrict sharing of a New York Post article this week — which reported on claims that laptop hardware left at a repair shop contained emails and other data belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The decision by Twitter to restrict sharing of the Post article attracted vicious criticism from high profile Republican voices — with the likes of senator Josh Hawley tweeting that the company is “now censoring journalists”.

Twitter’s hacked materials policy do explicitly allow “reporting on a hack, or sharing press coverage of hacking” but the company subsequently clarified that it had acted because the Post article contained “personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules”. (Plus the Post wasn’t reporting on a hack; but rather on the claim of the discovery of a cache of emails and the emails themselves.)

At the same time the Post article itself is highly controversial. The scenario of how the data came to be in the hands of a random laptop repair shop which then chose to hand it over to a key Trump ally stretches credibility — bearing the hallmarks of an election-targeting disops operation, as we explained on Wednesday.

Given questions over the quality of the Post’s fact-checking and journalistic standards in this case, Twitter’s decision to restrict sharing of the article actually appears to have helped reduce the spread of disinformation — even as it attracted flak to the company for censoring ‘journalism’.

(It has also since emerged that the harddrive in question was manufactured shortly before the laptop was claimed to have been dropped off at the shop. So the most likely scenario is Hunter Biden’s iCloud was hacked and doctored emails planted on the drive where the data could be ‘discovered’ and leaked to the press in a ham-fisted attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election. But Twitter is clearly uncomfortable that enforcing its policy led to accusations of censoring journalists.)

In a tweet thread explaining the change to its policy, Twitter’s legal, policy and trust & safety lead, Vijaya Gadde, writes: “We want to address the concerns that there could be many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation.”

She also notes that when the hacked materials policy was first introduced, in 2018, Twitter had fewer tools for policy enforcement than it does now, saying: “We’ve recently added new product capabilities, such as labels to provide people with additional context. We are no longer limited to Tweet removal as an enforcement action.”

Twitter began adding contextual labels to policy-breaching tweets by US president Donald Trump earlier this year, rather than remove his tweets altogether. It has continued to expand usage of these contextual signals — such as by adding fact-checking labels to certain conspiracy theory tweets — giving itself a ‘more speech to counteract bad speech’ enforcement tool vs the blunt instrument of tweet takedowns/account bans (which it has also applied recently to the toxic conspiracy theory group, QAnon).

“We believe that labeling Tweets and empowering people to assess content for themselves better serves the public interest and public conversation. The Hacked Material Policy is being updated to reflect these new enforcement capabilities,” Gadde also says, adding: “Content moderation is incredibly difficult, especially in the critical context of an election. We are trying to act responsibly & quickly to prevent harms, but we’re still learning along the way.”

The updated policy is clearly not a free-for-all, given all other Twitter Rules against hacked material apply (such as doxxing). Though there’s a question of whether tweets linking to the Post article would still be taken down under the updated policy if the story did indeed contain personal info (which remains against Twitter’s policy).

At the same time, the new ‘third way’ policy for hacked materials does leave Twitter’s platform to be a conduit for the spread of political disinformation (just with a little contextual friction) — in instances where it’s been credulously laundered by the press. (Albeit, Twitter can justifiably point the finger of blame at poor journalist standards at that point.)

The new policy also raises the question of how Twitter will determine whether or not a person is working ‘in concert’ with hackers? Just spitballing here but if — say — on the poll’s eve, Trump were to share some highly dubious information that smeared his key political rival and which he said he’d been handed by Russian president, Vladimir Putin, would Twitter step in and remove it?

We can only hope we don’t have to find out.

#content-moderation, #disinformation, #hacking, #new-york-post, #policy, #security, #social, #twitter


Facebook and Twitter Dodge a 2016 Repeat, and Ignite a 2020 Firestorm

The companies have said they would do more to stop misinformation and hacked materials from spreading. This is what that effort looks like.

#biden-hunter, #censorship, #computers-and-the-internet, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #facebook-inc, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rumors-and-misinformation, #social-media, #twitter, #united-states-politics-and-government


As Twitter and Facebook Clamp Down, Republicans Claim ‘Election Interference’

Conservatives said they would subpoena the chief executives of the social networks, which had blocked an unsubstantiated New York Post article.

#biden-hunter, #blackburn-marsha, #cruz-ted, #dorsey-jack, #facebook-inc, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #hawley-josh-d-1979, #house-committee-on-the-judiciary, #jordan-jim-1964, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #presidential-election-of-2020, #social-media, #trump-donald-j, #twitter, #zuckerberg-mark-e


Hunter Biden Allegation Prompts Pushback from Facebook, Twitter

Joe Biden’s campaign rejected assertions made in a published report that were based on unverified material from Trump allies. Facebook and Twitter found the story dubious enough to limit access to it on their platform.

#bannon-stephen-k, #biden-hunter, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #giuliani-rudolph-w, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trump-ukraine-whistle-blower-complaint-and-impeachment-inquiry, #trump-donald-j, #twitter, #united-states-politics-and-government


Pete Hamill, Quintessential New York Journalist, Dies at 85

He was, among other things, a celebrated reporter, columnist and the top editor of The New York Post and The Daily News and the author of numerous books.

#deaths-obituaries, #hamill-pete, #new-york-daily-news, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #writing-and-writers


‘Ugly Even for Him’: Trump’s Media Allies Recoil at His Smear of MSNBC Host

The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Washington Examiner chastised the president for his unfounded attacks on Joe Scarborough.

#fox-news-channel, #klausutis-lori-1972-2001, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #scarborough-joe, #trump-donald-j, #wall-street-journal, #washington-examiner-the


Photojournalists Struggle Through the Pandemic, With Masks and Long Lenses

Assignments have dried up for many photographers. Others risk going into the fray to capture images of a changed world.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #eater-web-site, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #he-gary, #jones-radhika, #kauzlarich-mark, #new-york-post, #news-and-news-media, #ochs-caitlin, #photography, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #reuters-group-plc, #vanity-fair