Twitter, following Facebook’s lead, is now suppressing a story. These actions seem designed to aid the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden just weeks before the presidential election on November 3, 2020.
In a shocking story released by the New York Post (the Post) on Oct. 14, emails from Democratic presidential candidate Biden’s son Hunter Biden reportedly exposed the alleged corrupt dealings of both father and son in Ukraine. The story reportedly found emails from a Ukrainian executive Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, thanking Hunter Biden for the opportunity to meet his father Joe Biden in Washington D.C. Twitter, following Facebook’s lead, has responded by disabling the link, claiming: “Warning: this link may be unsafe.”
“The Post’s primary Twitter account (@nypost) has also been locked because the Hunter Biden stories violate its rules against ‘distribution of hacked material,’ per email we received from Twitter”
The Twitter warning label that appears when the Post story is clicked on stated:
“The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe, in accordance with Twitter’s URL Policy. This link could fall into any of the below 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
- “certain categories of content that, if posted directly on Twitter, are a violation of the Twitter Rules”
At the bottom of the warning is a link that allows users to “Ignore this warning and continue” to the Post report.
Conservative twitter was outraged. Users noted that Twitter is blocking people from even tweeting the article going forward. The platform notified users who included the link in their posts: “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful. Visit our Help Center to learn more.”
One of our own, NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck, was even suspended for posting a shortened link of the NY Post report.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called out Twitter for acting as Biden’s “PR team” in response:
“TWITTER HAS DISABLED THE LINK to the @nypost story.
“@jack what the hell??
“I don’t know if the allegations are true—Qs that deserve to be answered.
“It’s a serious news publication raising evidence of corruption at the highest levels.
“@twitter shouldn’t act as Biden’s PR team.”
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) responded in kind:
“This is amazing. Now @Twitterjoins @Facebook in censoring the @nypost reporting on Biden. You almost get the idea #bigtech wants to buy this election.”
“In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter.”
Bond added in a following tweet:
“Twitter’s policy says you can’t use it ‘to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information’. Company says it’s taking this action because of the lack of authoritative reporting about the origins of the materials in the NY Post piece[.]”
It is as of yet unclear whether the spokesperson Bond is referring to is former Kamala Harris press secretary Nick Pacilio.
This comes after The Washington Post’s opinion columnist Greg Sargent called the story “[f]latly false,” and Facebook’s Policy Communications Director Andy Stone announced on Twitter that Facebook would be “reducing its distribution on our platform.”
“While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be [sic] 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,” wrote Stone of the incident on Twitter.
Two hours later, Stone followed up again, stating in a tweet, “This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce distribution pending fact-checker review.”