Twitter restricts Trump campaign account for posting ‘hacked materials’

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The platform says it doesn’t want its platform to be an outlet for hackers

Twitter has temporarily restricted the Twitter account of President Trump’s re-election campaign, @TeamTrump. The step was taken after the account posted a video referring to a New York Post story from Wednesday which contained alleged details of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s link to a Ukrainian energy company. 

After the account was barred from publishing new tweets, Republican lawmakers accused Twitter of being “speech police.” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Twitter’s ban represented “clear election interference.” 

Twitter said that it was within its rights to ban the account since its policies state that “hacked materials” and posts containing private information aren’t allowed. Facebook also limited the reach of the New York Post story. 

“We don’t permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets,” the company stated.

Not incentivizing hacking

Twitter said it took action against the account that posted the New York Post story because “the images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules.” 

Twitter said its policy also prohibits users from distributing content obtained without authorization. 

“We don’t want to incentivize hacking by allowing Twitter to be used as distribution for possibly illegally obtained materials,” the company tweeted

Major outage

Shortly after restricting the president’s campaign account, Twitter’s website and mobile app experienced a widespread outage for an unknown number of users. Service was restored for most people by around 8 p.m. ET, and the platform explained that a change to its systems was to blame for the outage. 

“The recent issue was caused by an inadvertent change we made to our internal systems,” the company tweeted. 

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