Election 2020 / Election Coverage / Opinion / Politics

Twitter and Facebook’s Shameful Repression of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden Story

hunterThis morning, Andy Stone, Facebook’s policy communications manager (and, per his bio, a former staffer for Barbara Boxer, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the House Majority PAC), announced that the social-media giant would begin “reducing” the “distribution” of a New York Post investigation into emails purporting that Joe Biden met with a top executive from the Ukrainian natural-gas firm Burisma Holdings at the behest of his son Hunter Biden.

Bad idea.

In one of the emails reported by the Post, a Burisma executive named Vadym Pozharskyi thanks Hunter for inviting him to Washington to meet with the vice president in 2015.

If the Post report is to be believed, the Biden-Burisma meeting occurred less than a year before the vice president pressured Ukrainian officials to fire Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor investigating the company that was paying Hunter $50,000 per month for his alleged expertise. That is, by any journalistic standard, newsworthy.

Instead of simply asking pertinent questions, or debunking the Post’s reporting, a media blackout was initiated. A number of well-known journalists warned colleagues and their sizable social-media audiences not to share the story.

By the afternoon, Twitter had joined Facebook in suppressing the article, not only barring its users from sharing it with followers, but barring them sharing it through direct messages as well. It locked the accounts of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the Post, and many others for retweeting the story.

There is no credible reason for this kind of targeted suppression. Over the past five years there have been scores of dramatic scoops written by major media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN that were based on faulty information provided by unknown sources that turned out to be incorrect. Not once has Facebook or Twitter concerned itself with the sourcing methods of reporters. Not once did it censor any of those pieces.

Even today, Twitter users are free to share stories that rely on the Steele Dossier, which includes the Donald Trump “pee-tape” myth, despite the fact that we now know it was likely disinformation dropped into the media stream by a foreign power.

Twitter initially cited its “Hacked Materials Policy” and a “lack of authoritative reporting” as justification for censoring the Post, one of the most widely read papers in the nation. Though the reliability of the story is yet to be determined, Twitter has offered no evidence that any of the information was illegally obtained. No similar standard was applied when the New York Times published Trump’s tax returns, even though anyone who had legal access to them is likely to have broken the law in sharing them with the Times. The newspaper reports that Hunter Biden’s emails had turned up in the hard drive of a laptop that had been dropped off at a repair shop last year. The FBI is reportedly in possession of the hard drive.

Whatever the case, it’s all in the public record now. A healthy democracy with a properly functioning and independent press would debate, investigate, and rigorously factcheck new information. They wouldn’t work to squelch a story. It’s certainly not the job of giant tech companies who claim to function as neutral platforms to decide what news consumers can or can’t handle.

The most generous reading of Twitter and Facebook’s actions is that the rules are evolving, messy, and inadvertently unfair. A less generous — but more plausible — reading is that the tech giants single out specific stories damaging to progressives’ preferred presidential candidate.

It will backfire. For one thing, it further damages the reputation of Big Tech. For another, it renders the industry more susceptible to a new regulatory regime already being championed by some in Congress. Mostly, however, it just makes the story they’re trying to suppress a far bigger deal.

Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - The Editors

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Jeffrey Lerud
1 month ago

Judge Barrett says it best, and I agree: “No one is above the law.” How can we trust our government when we see a past vice president lie consistently, brag about his corruption and still run for the Presidency? I am 72 and I love America. Now I will say it too, Nobody is above the law. The only way I see to save our country is “drain the swamp” and President Trump is the only person in America I believe can do it.

Mitchell Sanders
1 month ago

I have seen pictures from this laptop, and what Twitter and Facebook are doing is illegal censorship of this material. The FBI has allegedly had this information for a while now. Why isn’t DOJ doing anything?

Enuf Said
1 month ago

Where there is no integrity–THERE IS NO SHAME. DISGRACE BOOK and TITTER have neither integrity or decency!!

Phil Hammersley
1 month ago

If these platforms claim to be open forums with special legal protection, they MUST allow all comments (other than vulgarities) to be posted. Hopefully GOP will win back the House and a LAW removing their special status should be a TOP priority.

Patriot Will
1 month ago

Twitter and Facebook are actually acting in a very fascistic manner, and any thinking American, whether more liberal or more conservative, should be very concerned. There is absolutely no excuse. We already know that the media is basically a propaganda extension of the Democrat Party. Thus, the American people are already being bombarded with lies on a hourly basis. This newest dirty trick is beyond propaganda. It’s an example of pure suppression, plain and simple. If Biden/Harris win the election, what’s to stop the socialists/communists from completely destroying our freedoms? What’s next?

Josephine pooley
1 month ago

Preach it! These actions by facebook and Twitter are in direct violation of the first amendment! Isn’t there a conservative that can create a “facebook” that we can join and leave facebook in the dust?

Ron
1 month ago

It has begun. The marxist large tech companies, in concert with their pals the communist main stream news media, are conspiring to limit American citizen access to free information. Where is the FCC? Where is the FEC? They need to do their jobs, now!

Just Say NO to Crazy Joe
1 month ago

The most chilling line in the story has to be: “The FBI is reportedly in possession of the hard drive.” I hope that the HD does not end up like the Hillary evidence, where hard drives wiped themselves of their own volition while in government hands. Did the previous holders of that HD make a mirror copy of it? I sure hope so. Other than that none of this comes as any surprise, or at least not to me. What does confuse me though is why people still continue to use these biased and dangerous services, even after they learn… Read more »

John Hunt
1 month ago

They can ignore it and even hide it or refuse to let anyone on their platforms share it…but they can’t make it nut true, they can’t make it go away and they can keep people from hearing about it from other more legitimate sources. It just makes them small and irrelevant.

Pamela
1 month ago

Not only is Facebook and Twitter biased, they are infringing on First Amendment Rights of their users who are sharing the TRUTH and, in my humble opinion, they are demonstrating a conflict of interest. Both platforms should be shut down – I don’t have facts, however, it appears they create more controversy and chaos more so than helping families stay in touch. They appear to be nothing more than a digital form of the tabloids, promoting gossip and false information. Again, what happened to good, old-fashioned journalism where the author is bound by providing factual information; and had the integrity… Read more »

Garye
1 month ago

Big technology is a propaganda machine for the radical left wishing to destroy Our Country, time to break up this cancerous media bunch.
Our first ammendment guaranteed free speech not censorship of all ideas that don’t fit their political narrative!

David Spade
1 month ago

It seems as though there is no shame in the media or big tech as to how far they will go to squelch a story that is critical of Biden, his son or the Obama administration. It is part of the deep state that is so rouge that all Americans should be very concerned for their own safety. These people in the elite left will stop at nothing, and common Americans are just pawns in their quest for power.

Linda K
1 month ago

Actually, by banning this story, they’re making it more popular. If that wasn’t their intention, then they really are clueless.

Art A
1 month ago

Are they a platform or a publisher/editor? There may be some regulatory implications. No matter what,THEY ARE USING CENSORSHIP in their operation. I would suggest that they be invited to Washington to discuss things and admit what they are involved in. Repression of free speech is unconstitutional. The Swamp isn’t confined to any one group. MAGA/KAF/KAG TRUMP/PENCE 2020

BajaRon
1 month ago

What do you expect? The left is in full war mode. No rules, no mercy and no conscience. Their aim is to forward the agenda regardless of what it takes. They have abandoned every American principle and standard. And they hope the rest of us are stupid enough to join them. We will lose everything that has taken us nearly 250 years to accomplish if they are successful.

Fletcher
1 month ago

That’s Socialism. What else needs to be said?

Myrna
1 month ago

The effort to suppress the story makes it appear to be a suppression of freedom. So this election was becoming an either freedom or political correctness set to manage the country before this laptop was examined. Now the stakes have become more obvious, standing out in neon lights. At least the waste of educational time and the damage being done in public schools is being discussed in some public school systems. Freedom is on the line: it is not just traditions that are in danger. If every person informs himself/herself and votes, we are OK. But if news sources decide… Read more »

Matthew Gabor
1 month ago

It is truly amazing that the DemonRat Party had exerted so much effort to impeach President Trump over a harmless phone call to the Ukrainian President and now that there is the opportunity to expose what really happened, the Technocrats are covering it up! I watched a 3 part Documentary on OAN showing all the details of the Biden Burisma scandal from start to finish. They should have a Presidential Debate on that issue alone! While watching The Trump Card Documentary it was exposed how family members of Sleepy Joe have profited from his influence and political connections. To combat… Read more »

Fred
1 month ago

There is no doubt that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms provide information purely to support their business model of generating ad revenue. They knowingly provide disinformation with that end as the primary objective. This is also true for Google, Bing and other search engines. I strongly urge everyone to watch a movie on Netflix called “Social Dilemma”. It is a damning expose on these companies unethical, if not outright illegal practices, by the very people who created the technology for these companies – who know and are scared of the implications for our society.

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Ammo to regulate ALL, even LI is monitoring comments FYI LI= LinkedIn
See Parler.com & Telegram
Sign DataDividendProject.com

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