Twitter on July 28 imposed a blockade on all content from The Epoch Times without explanation, raising further concerns about freedom of speech on the platform and drawing ire from three U.S. senators.
The platform enforced a warning on all links from The Epoch Times. A click on a link directs users to a page titled “Warning: this link may be unsafe,” which prompts users to return to the previous page.
“The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe,” the warning stated, citing Twitter’s URL policy.
The notice said that the link could fall into any of four categories: “malicious links that could steal personal information or harm electronic devices”; “spammy links that mislead people or disrupt their experience”; “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm”; or content that “if posted directly on Twitter, are a violation of the Twitter Rules.”
Twitter’s warning page allows users to proceed to the Epoch Times link if they click on the word “continue” at the very bottom of the page.
The platform has not responded to multiple requests from The Epoch Times for clarification.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who serves on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, decried the move as an act of censorship.
“Twitter is blocking all links to @EpochTimes, including a story about a human trafficking survivor, and labeling them as ‘spammy’ and ‘unsafe.’ Twitter must explain itself for this outrageous act of censorship,” Rubio wrote in a July 29 tweet.
Johnson described Twitter’s action as “alarming.”
“Twitter is censoring @EpochTimes under the guise of ‘unsafe’ speech. Remember what happened the last time corporate media and big tech tried to censor my investigation on Hunter Biden corruption?” he wrote. “The truth always prevails.”
Scott asked Twitter in a July 29 tweet “where’s the respect for free speech and freedom of press, Twitter.”
“We all remember your biased censorship of [The New York Post] and how that ended for you,” Scott said.