Facebook and Twitter have quickly moved to censor links to a New York Post article detailing leaked Hunter Biden emails. The emails show that Hunter Biden introduced his father, then Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma. The meeting took place less than a year before VP Biden pressured Ukranian government officials to dismiss a prosecutor who was investigating the company. Hunter Biden of course worked for the company in a lucrative role despite questionable experience. “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” states Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, in an email.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” said Joe Biden last October. These latest revelations appear to contradict that claim.
Just hours after the bombshell report was dropped, Facebook announced that they would be restricting its circulation. “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” said Facebook Policy Communications Director Andy Stone in a tweet.
Twitter took things a step further and outright blocked any links to the story. Users are unable to tweet the article or share it via direct messages. “This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war,” tweeted New York post editor Sohrab Ahmari.
Twitter and Facebook do not apply these same standards to uncorroborated conspiracies regarding President Trump and other right wing figures. “Anonymous sources” were routinely used for seemingly everything regarding the Russia-gate saga. None of the breathless accusations of “treason” and conspiracy were ever corroborated or proven, but were allowed to circulate freely on both platforms.
Numerous conservatives, including James Woods, have had their accounts locked for sharing the link. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany just recently had her account locked for sharing the story.
Senator Josh Hawley told the tech giants to expect a formal inquiry while numerous GOP politicians criticized the censorship. Statements aren’t enough for a growing segment of the population, however, as several on both the right and left are demanding immediate action. Section 230 reform is often called for in regards to big tech. It is argued that Facebook and Twitter operate as publishers (they do) and therefore, shouldn’t be entitled to the same legal protections as a platform.