Facebook & Twitter Bury Damaging Biden Exposé on Hunter's Bombshell Emails
Social media giants suppress story sparking allegations of election interference
After The New York Post published an explosive exposé Wednesday on Joe and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine, both Facebook and Twitter reacted by burying the story from appearing on their platforms.
The bombshell story published leaked emails that show that Hunter Biden allegedly introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a Ukrainian energy executive.
The meeting would have taken place a year before the vice president pushed Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor who was then probing the executive’s company, Burisma Holdings.
During this period, Hunter Biden was a board member at Burisma, where he earned $50,000 a month, despite zero experience in the sector.
As VP, Joe Biden oversaw America's overseas policy in Ukraine and forced the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid.
Joe Biden denied any quid pro quo and claimed he had never even met Hunter's business associates - but the emails obtained by The Post appear to prove he lied.
Facebook responded first by limiting the reach of the bombshell story from appearing in its News Feed, massively reducing its ability to be shared.
"While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tweeted on Wednesday - hours after the story broke but mysteriously failed to go viral.
"In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.
"This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation.
"We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”
While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.— Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020
Stone failed to provide any information to suggest the story may be "misinformation," however.
Yet Facebook’s supposedly neutral fact-checkers were practically invited to challenge the story.
Significantly, the social network took the rare step of acting in advance of a decision by its “third-party fact-checkers,” on which it usually relies on to defer responsibility for censoring news publishers.
That move is practically unprecedented, arguably protecting the former vice president from a major political scandal at a critical time in the 2020 election.
Interestingly, Facebook spokesman Stone's Twitter bio boasts of his links to Democrats and Democratic groups dedicated to electing Dems.
The story made the front page of the Post, which also reveals that the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is investigating emails provided to it by a whistleblower, allegedly between Hunter Biden and executives at Burisma.
Twitter followed Facebook’s lead, censoring existing links to the New York Post article as “unsafe,” and preventing people — including the newspaper’s own employees — from posting new ones.
“This is a Big Tech information coup,” said the New York Post’s op-eds editor, Sohrab Ahmari. “This is digital civil war.”
“I, an editor at the New York Post, one of the nation’s largest papers by circulation, can’t post one of our own stories that details corruption by a major-party presidential candidate, Joe Biden.”
This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war.— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) October 14, 2020
I, an editor at The New York Post, one of the nation’s largest papers by circulation, can’t post one of our own stories that details corruption by a major-party presidential candidate, Biden. pic.twitter.com/BKNQmAG19H
Twitter also claimed the article lacked “authoritative information,” but did not explain this position further.
The censorship drew instant condemnation from Republicans.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said, “So Facebook is going to actively censor a [New York Post] investigative story on the Democrat candidate for president.
"But rest assured, Facebook is a neutral platform with no political viewpoints!”
“I want to know on what grounds you are actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president,” said Hawley in a follow-up tweet.
“If you have evidence this is ‘disinformation,’ disclose it immediately.
“Expect a formal inquiry from my office.”
So @Facebook is going to actively censor a @nypost investigative story on the Democrat candidate for president. But rest assured, Facebook is a neutral platform with no political viewpoints! https://t.co/xKnTRIWUip— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
.@Facebook I want to know on what grounds you are actively censoring a news report about potentially illegal corruption by the Democrat candidate for president. If you have evidence this is “disinformation,” disclose it immediately. Expect a formal inquiry from my office— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 14, 2020
In a tweet later in the day, Hawley posted the full text of his letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, calling on him to explain his company’s actions.
In a tweet posted to the Trump War Room twitter account, the Trump campaign accused Facebook of election interference.
“This is a Facebook employee.
"Facebook is actively interfering in the election.
"Facebook is rigging the election for Joe Biden.”
“This is straight-up election interference by Facebook, being announced by their comms person who touts in his bio numerous past jobs with Dems,” said Donald Trump Jr.
“Big Tech is openly trying to rig this election for Biden & should be held accountable immediately.”
This is straight-up election interference by @Facebook, being announced by their comms person who touts in his bio numerous past jobs with Dems. Big Tech is openly trying to rig this election for Biden & should be held accountable immediately. @FCC @senjudiciary @SenateCommerce https://t.co/NO2eG6D6K0— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 14, 2020
The Post has responded with an article titled, “Facebook censors The Post to help Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.”
The Post writes, “Censor first, ask questions later: It’s an outrageous attitude for one of the most powerful platforms in the United States to take.”