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Twitter reactivates 'ZeroHedge' account after suspension: 'We made an error'

Audrey Conklin

Twitter reactivated financial blog ZeroHedge's account Friday, which has been suspended since January, citing an "error" in judgment.

The tech giant suspended ZeroHedge, which had 670,000 followers, for violating its rules against "abuse and harassment," according to a screenshot of a notification from Twitter shared by ZeroHedge pseudonymous author Tyler Durden. Now, Twitter is saying it made "an error" in that decision.

"We made an error in our enforcement action in this case," a Twitter spokesperson told FOX Business. "Based on additional context from the account holder in appeal, we have reinstated the account. We have a dedicated appeals process for all account holders."

ZeroHedge responded to Twitter's statement in a Saturday blog post, calling the January suspension "confusing."

"Twitter told us that the account had been suspended for 'violating Twitter rules against abuse and harassment' which was false as we neither incited abuse nor harassment but merely asked questions," the blog post said in reference to another post ZeroHedge published in January that led to the account's suspension.

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The suspension came after ZeroHedge shared an article titled, "Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?" It linked a Chinese doctor and researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology to a theory claiming the new virus is an engineered bioweapon and shared some of his personal information in the piece.

A spokesperson for the blog told FOX Business at the time of the suspension that it was "confident" it did not violate Twitter's terms on harassment.

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"We neither incited harassment nor did we 'dox' the public official, whose contact information is as of this moment listed on the Wuhan institute's website. As such, we find the suspension arbitrary and unjustified and potentially motivated by reasons other than the stated ones," the spokesperson said.

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Under the five-month-long suspension, ZeroHedge's Twitter account was still able to share and retweet posts on the platform but without the ability to add unique commentary or tweet independently.

Twitter has made policy updates and changes to its platform in recent months to combat coronavirus-related misinformation shared on the platform. For example, the company in April updated its safety guidance on what it qualifies as "unverified claims" to include posts that it believes "could lead to widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder." Twitter takes down such claims under the policy to ensure user safety.

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A Twitter spokesperson previously told FOX Business that while not all tweets containing "disputed or incomplete" COVID-19 information will be removed, the tech giant is "prioritizing the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm."

The tech giant has come under fire in recent weeks for adding labels to two of President Trump's tweets -- one that included a fact check on the president's tweet regarding mail-in ballot fraud and another for violating the company's policies against "glorifying violence." The labels prompted Trump to issue an executive order that aims to re-examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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